Saturday, September 18, 2021

Spirit of Generosity: Let’s Show Our Community Support

tupper lake adirondack foundation

The Adirondack region embodies the Spirit of Generosity. From volunteering to making gifts that empower nonprofit organizations to do their best work, it’s clear community is what makes this a special place.

Throughout our summer-long series of essays on the Almanack, we’ve highlighted individuals, organizations, and communities that go above and beyond to enhance the quality of life for everyone in the Adirondacks. Taking time to recognize this hard work and generosity is important. As your community foundation, we invite you to give with us the week of Sept.19-25 to support Adirondack nonprofits — to take the Spirit of Generosity campaign full circle. We offer some ideas and insights in today’s essay, as well as an incentive to engage with our campaign to win an opportunity to direct a $1,000 grant to a qualified nonprofit.

What are some ways to give?

Our request for supporting local nonprofits is simple: make a gift, dedicate your time, raise awareness. Let’s show the nonprofit sector what the Spirit of Generosity in the Adirondacks looks like. We think it’s the perfect way to end the busy summer season and welcome fall. If you make a gift to any local nonprofit this week, leave a comment here, tag us on social media, and share the joy of giving.

What do nonprofits need the most right now?

Our research, conducted by survey, has found that 98 percent of nonprofits in our region  agree that unrestricted gifts — or charitable donations that aren’t restricted to specific programs or projects — provide the flexibility to direct funds where they’re needed most. When given the option between a $25,000 restricted grant and a $20,000 unrestricted grant, they would rather forfeit the additional funding in favor of more agency over their spending.

The need for unrestricted giving is underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact. In a pair of surveys — for which summaries can be viewed here and here — distributed last year by Adirondack Foundation in partnership with Cloudsplitter Foundation, the need for flexibility in charitable gifts was a key takeaway. Smaller nonprofits in particular struggled with general operating support. One respondent noted that because of COVID impacts, they did not have the staff or resources to develop quality programming, especially with key fundraising activities like summer benefits and decreased memberships cutting into budgets. These organizations are determined, though — with one noting that “when we hit a wall, we will find a way to climb it.”

What’s the incentive to participate?

We’re offering three people who engage with us on social media a chance to win the opportunity to direct a $1,000 grant through the Foundation’s Generous Acts program. If you comment on or share any of our Spirit of Generosity posts on our Facebook or Instagram accounts, your name will automatically be put into a drawing — and the lucky winners will be notified via direct message next month. To kick things off and help inspire you, the Foundation’s Community Council Chair, Collin McCullough, will do a social media takeover to highlight critical work.

It’s been an honor to share stories highlighting the Spirit of Generosity in our communities. We thank Almanack readers for taking the time to read these pieces, and hope you’ll join us in giving back to our amazing nonprofit and community organizations.


All summer long, Adirondack Foundation is celebrating the Spirit of Generosity by highlighting stories about the generous people, organizations, and collaborations that enrich the lives of people in the Adirondacks. Every Saturday, Adirondack Almanack will share an essay by Cali Brooks, President and CEO, about some of the people and programs that Adirondack Foundation invests in and partners with to enhance the lives of people in the Adirondacks through philanthropy. Readers can win the opportunity to direct a grant to an organization that aligns with the Foundation’s Generous Acts program. To enter, simply create a social media post that captures what generosity means to you and tag Adirondack Foundation’s accounts, or share one of our Spirit of Generosity posts from our Facebook or Instagram accounts. To learn more about our work or make a gift to our Generous Acts Fund, visit

Photo by Erika Bailey, provided by Adirondack Foundation

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Cali Brooks is president & CEO of Adirondack Foundation. After working with nonprofit organizations in Southeast Asia, Central America, and the United States, Cali returned home to the Adirondacks and worked for the HKH Foundation where she conducted a survey to assess the economic, social, cultural, and environmental strengths of the Adirondack region. She then joined the Public Affairs office of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and co-founded the Wildlife Conservation Society's Adirondack Communities and Conservation Program. She and her family live in and love the Adirondacks.

One Response

  1. louis curth says:

    Thank you Cali Brooks for offering this series of informative articles about the work that you and the Adirondack Foundation are doing to bring us together as one caring community here in the Adirondack-North Country region.

    It is truly comforting to know that there are caring people throughout our area who are paying forward their own good fortune with generous funding and hands-on assistance to so many wonderful programs that lift the lives of all of us.

    Helping and befriending each other is community building at its finest. Please keep up the good work, and know that you are appreciated.