Giving Project’s First $8,500 Winner Announced

April 13, 2012 (Syracuse, NY) – It was announced today that the Madison County Office for the Aging is the winner of an $8,500 grant from the Central New York Community Foundation after successfully garnering the most public votes in The CNY85 Giving Project. The Office for the Aging provides medical transportation for frail, isolated elderly who have no other means of transportation to their physicians, eye care professionals, pharmacies, and other medical related appointments. The grant will help the program expand to serve more of the region’s elderly population by recruiting and training additional volunteer drivers.

The CNY85 Giving Project was created to engage the public in the Community Foundation’s 85-year anniversary celebration while also drawing attention to the many nonprofit organizations benefitting Central New York. The online campaign encourages visitors to its website – – to vote for a project once a day during the designated month. The Community Foundation hopes that those who participate in voting are inspired to get more involved in their community – either monetarily or through some form of volunteerism.

The month of March was the first of four voting periods The CNY85 Giving Project will open to the public over the course of the year. The March round featured economic development, transportation, planning and environmental projects. Future rounds will feature projects that address human services, health and housing (June), education and technology (September) and arts, culture and civic leadership (December).

“We see The CNY85 Giving Project is an opportunity for the public to learn about some of the outstanding nonprofit programs being offered here in Central New York,” said Peter Dunn, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “The Project is a celebration of our 85-year anniversary, but we also want it to draw attention to the many other nonprofit organizations engaged in a variety of activities to make Central New York a great place to live and work. We hope that those who participate in voting are inspired to get more involved in their community.”

Nonprofit organizations must enter their projects into the contest in order to participate. The Community Foundation is now accepting applications for its second round, featuring projects that address Central New York’s human service and housing needs, until April 30. Nonprofit organizations that serve Onondaga and/or Madison Counties are invited to enter by submitting a simple online form. To view the Project’s full calendar and learn how to apply, visit

About CNYVitals

Each round features projects of different themes based on findings of a community indicators project, CNYVitals. 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 community-based organizations that have signed on to help gather and analyze the data on Central New York’s greatest needs.

The resulting data is a snapshot of Central New York’s current state of affairs within various interest areas. The architects of the 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. Founded in 1927, it strives to inspire philanthropy in Central New York by connecting the generosity of donors with community needs – making grants to organizations working to enhance the quality of life of those who live and work in Central New York from nearly 600 charitable endowment funds that it manages. Grants are awarded for programs in the areas of human services, arts and culture, education, environment, health, economic development and civic affairs. As the region’s largest endowed philanthropic foundation, the Community Foundation awards more than $5 million in grants to nonprofit organizations annually. The Community Foundation is located at 431 East Fayette Street, Syracuse, NY 13202 and can be reached at (315) 422-9538 or

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