You have come to the right place to learn about Adirondack philanthropy. ACT was created to help philanthropically inclined individuals and families maximize the impact of their giving. ACT is a collection of funds established through gifts that are pooled and invested. The income from these funds is distributed through grants. ACT offers donors convenience and more: because we're local, we know the issues facing our communities and the most effective nonprofits working on them. We research each nonprofit organization before we make a grant to make sure that it is financially and programmatically sound. And, by joining a community of donors, an individual can have greater impact because his/her grants are combined with those of other generous donors.
What is a Community Foundation?
Community foundations are tax exempt, public charities serving thousands of people who share a common interest—improving the quality of life in their area.
Individuals, families, businesses, and organizations create permanent and non-permanent charitable funds that help their region meet the challenges of changing times. The foundation invests and administers these funds.
All community foundations are overseen by a volunteer board of leading citizens and run by professionals with expertise in identifying their community's needs.
- know their communities
- share your interests
- care about the future
- offer giving vehicles that are easy to set up and manage and that provide tax benefits
Read more about community foundations in the Council on Foundations Community Foundation Fact Sheet
How Does ACT Work?
ACT accepts gifts, invests the money, and distributes the income to organizations that meet donor interest and charitable intent. In many ways, ACT is just like having one's own foundation without the work and costs associated with administering a separate entity.
The Adirondack Community Trust magnifies the impact of charitable giving by actively seeking opportunities where modest grants can achieve improved results. By making timely grants to select nonprofit organizations, ACT provides donors with perpetual stewardship of their charitable dollars.
Through careful assessment of the needs of the Adirondack Region, ACT focuses its grantmaking on several broad categories: arts and humanities, animal welfare, community development, education, environment, health, historic preservation, libraries, recreation, social services and youth programs.
ACT Quick Facts
ACT was founded in 1997.
We are home to over 220 charitable funds.
We are one of more than 700 community foundations across the country.
ACT has over $30 million in assets (as of June 30, 2012).
ACT awarded nearly $20 million in grants and scholarships since inception. Most of these grants were made at the recommendation of individuals and organizations who have established a fund with ACT.
History of the Adirondack Community Trust
In 1995, Fred Brown and Meredith Prime, serving on the Board of Lake Placid Education Foundation (LPEF), identified the need for an organization to encourage more giving and philanthropy in the Adirondack region. LPEF agreed, as a seed-sowing project, to support the founding of a community foundation (ACT) and to underwrite expenses during its formative years. The first part-time executive director was John S. Lansing. In early 2001, ACT received a $2 million grant from the Lake Placid Education Foundation establishing the Melvil Dewey Endowment Fund at ACT. Income from this fund supports the general operations of ACT and provides funds for other worthwhile purposes. This generous grant allowed ACT to hire Cali Brooks as its first full-time executive director, where she continues to do great work for the community.
Demographic Data of the Area We Serve
The Adirondack Park lies within 12 counties, the boundaries of which do not match the Park boundaries. Census data are collected based on county lines, so it is difficult to ascertain exact statistics. ACT serves Clinton, Hamilton, Essex and Franklin counties and parts of Warren, St. Lawrence, and Herkimer counties. Click here to read more...