By GREG KLEIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
The Community Foundation of Otsego County announced Tuesday, May 11, that it is launching a new funding campaign to raise $2 million and has already taken in most of that money in pledges.
The 16-member board was formed about two years ago to help solve issues of business and poverty that are affecting Otsego County. When the coronavirus pandemic hit not long after the board formed, it rededicated its mission to help county residents and businesses survive the pandemic.
Board President Harry Levine said the group gave out more than $225,000 in pandemic funds and has been fundraising behind the scenes to ensure there is a financial base for the next half decade.
“You have got to show that you have gotten some primary support at the beginning and to show people that you are for real,” Levine said in an interview Saturday, May 8. “We are for real.”
In addition to the funding drive, the foundation recently announced it will invest another $200,000 in 2021 “to build the capacity of local nonprofits to address challenges identified by a community survey it conducted earlier this year. Full details are available on the CFOC website, cfotsego.org, but the main issues include food insufficiency, affordable housing, job creation and economic development.”
Levine said the foundation hired researchers from SUNY Delhi to interpret the survey and they reported that respondents wanted the foundation to work on issues of food insecurity, inadequate housing and expanded job opportunities, with expanded focus on mental health issues and arts organizations.
County Board Chair and foundation member Dave Bliss said in a media release that the foundation is dedicated to meeting the needs of the community.
“The Community Foundation of Otsego County is dedicated to creating strong partnerships with other local organizations, resulting in positive social and economic initiatives for our community,” Bliss said in a media release.” CFOC works to identify where the greatest needs exist, and then fund programs designed to improve the quality of life for all who call Otsego County home.”
Donations can be made online at www.cfotsego.org or sent to Community Foundation of Otsego County, P.O. Box 55, Springfield Center, NY 13468.
CFOC can also accept donations of stock or other assets. According to the media release, CFOC will release its 2020 annual report later this month.