Founded in 2019, the Community Foundation of Otsego County is 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity that brings together financial and human resources to address challenges and increase opportunity in Otsego County. We distribute grants to nonprofit organizations in our community and partner with them to reach solutions.
We envision a community that provides healthy, prosperous and enriching opportunities for all.
Mission: We lead and inspire community-wide efforts that significantly improve the quality of life and the prosperity of the Otsego County, New York area. Connecting people who care with causes that matter, we leverage collective knowledge, creativity, and resources for a greater impact than any of us can make alone.
Collaboration – We believe our challenges cannot be solved by any one organization and focus on creating solutions together, harnessing the assets of the region, and partnering with others in the community to catalyze change and produce results.
Inclusion - We believe that the community foundation should mirror the people we serve, and have our work guided by their diverse perspectives.
Respect - We believe in all residents’ dignity, basic human rights, and their inherent worthiness. Imagination- We seek to be a bold leader that stimulates new and inventive approaches, perspectives and ideas to address what matters most to the people and communities we serve.
Accountability – We accept responsibility for delivering on our mission, and are committed to being transparent, data-driven, and focused on results.
Integrity – We believe in being reliable, responsive, and timely with our actions that build trust in the community and with our donors.
Stewardship – We hold our assets in the public trust and manage appropriate risk, while maintaining the highest standards of integrity in donor relations, community service, institutional governance, and fiscal management.
The first meeting of the Board of Directors was held at the Family Engagement Center of Springbrook in Oneonta, NY on June 5, 2019. We adopted a mission statement, a statement of values and vision, elected officers, and took other actions to establish our tax-exempt status which was granted June 20, 2019. We also approved a working relationship with the well-established Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, which provides us with investment management and mentorship for our new enterprise.
We began to raise initial financial resources and were two-thirds of the way toward our goal in early March 2020 when the COVID-19 virus arrived and turned the world upside down. We recognized that we were needed by the community and could not wait until the end of the campaign. In April, we created the Otsego County COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund. In 30 days, working entirely with volunteers, we set up our systems and got to work. The emergency fund was well-received by the community. More than $200,000 was raised and then distributed to various nonprofits for the benefit of people who were suffering physical and financial difficulties due to the pandemic caused by the virus.
We are on our way to becoming a leader in linking philanthropy to community needs. The Board determines the focus for grantmaking based on community input.