In three short years, $500,000 in grants and awards from the Community Foundation of Otsego County have reached Otsego County nonprofits. This major milestone was marked by a $15,000 award to Catholic Charities of Delaware, Otsego, and Schoharie Counties for the Oneonta Warming Station. The Community Foundation of Otsego (CFOC) was founded in 2019
by a group of fifteen local citizens who shared a vision and believed in the potential of a community foundation. CFOC is dedicated to enriching opportunities for all residents of Otsego County.
While in the midst of the initial $2 million Founders fundraising campaign, COVID struck. CFOC rose to the immediate challenge, gathering and distributing over $200,000 to county nonprofits and businesses hit with unexpected and unbudgeted costs related to the pandemic.
CFOC president Harry Levine says, “The COVID crisis hurt but had a silver lining. It proved our community could quickly come together to provide needed financial support through our nonprofits. It also demonstrated CFOC to be an effective central organizing hub for rising to these challenges.”
It can often take decades for new community foundations to raise enough to be able to give out $500,000. During the COVID pandemic, the generosity of people in and outside of Otsego County allowed CFOC to speed up the timeline. After the COVID funds were fully spent the Founders campaign resumed; it was fulfilled in late 2021, and that put CFOC in the position to start its 2021-22 Awards Cycle. To date, 143 awards and grants have been issued, ranging from $300 to $25,000, for a total of over $500,000.
“I’m immensely proud of the Community Foundation’s work, the dedication of our board, and the response of our donors,” says Executive Director Jeff Katz. “To make such a large financial impact in such a brief amount of time is phenomenal.”
Mr. Katz adds, “We expect our 2023 Awards Cycle to open in early March. The Community Foundation of Otsego County continues its commitment to area nonprofits.”
For more information on what we do, and how you can support the Community Foundation of Otsego County, visit cfotsego.org
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