Community Foundation Announces $85,000 Prize Opportunity

March 21, 2012 (Syracuse, NY) – In celebration of its 85-year anniversary, the Central New York Community Foundation announced today that it will award a special one-time grant of $85,000 through its new CNY85 Collaborative Impact Prize. The successful project will support the implementation of an innovative, collaborative, cross-sector solution to a critical community issue.

Applications must be submitted electronically to and must be received no later than midnight, July 20, 2012. Projects involving multiple organizations are encouraged.  The lead applicant must be a 501(c)3 public charity or a municipality located in and serving residents of Onondaga and/or Madison County. The winner, which will be chosen by committee, will be announced on National Philanthropy Day – November 15, 2012.

Project Guidelines

The Community Foundation is seeking applications with as many of the following characteristics as possible:

  1. The concept is innovative and entrepreneurial in nature
  2. The project seeks to address a specific community need or systemic problem
  3. The need or issue being addressed is well supported through public data sources ( or other data/reports). More information about the CNY Vitals community indicators can be found below.
  4. A well-developed strategy with measurable outcomes is employed
  5. Creative, non-typical collaborations and strategic partnerships (multi-disciplinary, interdependent, regional, cross-sector, etc.) are utilized
  6. There is promise for sustained impact (the project/program will be institutionalized, or seeks to develop new social enterprise, fee-for-service or other funding mechanism to scale/sustain).

“It is our hope that this prize opportunity will help break down the barriers between people and institutions, allowing new and innovative solutions to community issues to emerge,” said John Eberle, Vice President of Grants and Community Initiatives at the Community Foundation. “By promoting collaborative problem-solving, we will undoubtedly discover new approaches for solving age-old problems.”

The CNY85 Giving Project

The Collaborative Impact Prize is one way the Community Foundation is using the occasion of its 85th anniversary to expand its support of local nonprofit organizations. The other, The CNY85 Giving Project, is helping them to gain visibility and support via public online vote. To learn more about the Giving Project, please visit

About CNYVitals

CNYVitals provides information on the trends and issues facing area residents to generate discussion, inform planning, and celebrate successes. The Community Foundation, along with its partners, hope that this data will help area leaders and organizations make smart investments by focusing funding and programming on projects and initiatives that make the most sense and have the greatest positive impact on our region. The community indicators were the result of a collaborative effort between Syracuse University’s Maxwell School, FOCUS Greater Syracuse, the Central New York Community Foundation, city and county municipalities and a host of nearly 80 community-based organizations that have signed on to help gather and analyze the data on Central New York’s greatest needs.

The resulting data, which currently includes 180 data points, is a snapshot of Central New York’s current state of affairs within various interest areas. The architects of this project hope that making this information available to the general public will inspire collaborative discussion and action to address the community’s most pressing needs while also focusing funding and programming on projects and initiatives that will have the greatest positive impact on the region. All of the data can be viewed and contributed to at

About the Central New York Community Foundation

This year, the Central New York Community Foundation celebrates its 85-year anniversary. Established in 1927, the Central New York Community Foundation encourages local philanthropy by supporting the growth of a permanent charitable endowment for the betterment of the region.  The Community Foundation is the largest charitable foundation in the area with assets of more than $128 million. It awards close to $5.6 million in grants to nonprofit organizations annually and has invested more than $100 million in the community since its inception. The Community Foundation serves as the steward of charitable legacies for individuals, families and corporations through the administration of nearly 600 funds. The organization also serves as a civic leader, convener and sponsor of special initiatives designed to strengthen nonprofits that address the region’s most pressing challenges. For more information, visit

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