Our Focus

Over the years the Foundation has broadly collected its grantgiving under six primary umbrellas:

Supporting young people

Supporting young people throughout the county through scholarship programs, field trips, school enrichment programs, and youth development programs outside the schools. The Foundation’s commitment to young people begins early, with regular support to a number of day care programs in the county, and lasts beyond high school, with funding for job readiness, financial literacy and other life skills. Grantees in this area include several local and regional arts, history and agriculture venues seeking to cover ticket and transportation costs to give students direct exposure to professional performance, exhibit and production activities. Also, the Foundation has supported DARE and anti-drug initiatives, and has long been a major sponsor of Sean’s Run in Chatham, teaching teens the importance of seatbelt use and the dangers of mixing alcohol and driving.

Supporting the vulnerable

Supporting the vulnerable throughout our local communities via disaster relief, food security and backpack programs, model social support services, early childhood and aging-athome programs. The Foundation has long-time partnerships in this work with Habitat for Humanity, Columbia Opportunities, Salvation Army, Red Cross, COARC and other organizations such as the Regional Food Bank through which we aid more than a dozen local food pantries. Through a partnership with Hawthorne Valley, the Foundation has also played an important role in the launching of Rolling Grocer 19 as both a mobile food pantry and Hudson supermarket.

Supporting health education

Supporting health education, awareness and delivery of health services to multiple local, underserved populations. Apart from its direct support of Columbia Memorial Health, the Foundation has supported dozens of initiatives with organizations like Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood and grassroots groups working with drug addiction, health screenings, domestic violence, suicide prevention, and anti-disease campaigns and community walks. Support also extends to regional resources used by local residents, such as the new Pediatric Emergency facility at Albany Medical Center.

Maintain historic and cultural resources

Helping maintain the historic and cultural resources that make Columbia County a special place to live and work. The Foundation has strong continuing partnerships with Olana, Hudson Hall, PS21, Columbia County Historical Society and other leading historic, arts and performance venues. But the Foundation also stands behind literally dozens of public performances of music, dance, theater, and film, believing that the abundance of opportunities in the arts benefits not only audiences but also performers looking to get established. The lively arts and culture scene in Hudson in particular and the county in general speak to the importance of the arts in community life.

Maintain environmentally conscious attitudes and activities

Helping maintain environmentally conscious attitudes and activities as a way to secure the fruits of the countryside— from food to outdoor activities to spiritual refreshment—for future generations. The Columbia Land Conservancy has been a long-term Foundation grantee, as has the Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association, and other long-term partners include Riverkeeper, Sloop Clearwater and organizations protecting sensitive environmental resources locally and regionally. The Foundation has given, and continues to give, special consideration to programs that support a vibrant small-scale agriculture infrastructure.

Family Fun

And let’s not forget family fun. The Foundation recognizes the bonds that are created—within families and within communities—when people participate in communal activities and has a long record of supporting initiatives in this arena. The Foundation has consistently provided funds for the Hudson Flag Day Parade, Winter Walk, Chatham Film Festival and Bindlestiff Family Cirkus programs teaching circus arts to youngsters–as well as supporting main stage musical entertainment at the Columbia County Fair over the past 20 years, not to mention funding major Fairgrounds improvements including new grandstand seating and roof, new bathrooms, and multiple new or renovated structures.

While the six umbrellas do not cover every example of grantmaking by the Foundation, they nonetheless provide a fair overview of the Foundation’s motives and methods in providing funds to not-for-profit organizations in ways that magnify their potential positive impacts on life, health, opportunity, and happiness of the residents of Columbia County and the immediately surrounding area.