COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund for Otsego County

We are One Community – One County, and we face an emergency need to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Community Foundation of Otsego County (CFOC) has created the COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund for Otsego County.  The Fund will issue grants to qualified service organizations that are addressing the most urgent needs of residents of the County.  Once the crisis abates, the Fund will shift to supporting recovery efforts.

The Fund was started with a grant of $20,000 from the Community Foundation of Otsego County and a $1 for $1 matching challenge grant of another $30,000 from its Board members and volunteers. The Fund is accepting donations now. CFOC is underwriting all the costs of creating and administering the Fund and not charging any fees so that 100% of all donations will go directly into the community to meet pressing needs.

We are inviting individual donors, companies, local foundations, philanthropies and other organizations to join us. Online gifts have the most immediate impact. Donations can also be sent to the Community Foundation of Otsego County, P.O. Box 55, Springfield Center, NY 13468. Please send questions related to donations to contact@cfotsego.org. For other questions, please visit our frequently asked questions (FAQs).

For further information, to add your name as a supporter, or other in-depth questions, email contact@cfotsego.org.

Donating

100% of all donations will be used for awards.

Donations Via Mail

We gladly accept mail-in donations. Please print and fill out the attached PDF and send with your donation.

Fund Supporters

We welcome government agencies, private foundations, community organizations, businesses and other groups and individuals to join us.  We are One Community – One County and we need to come together to combat this pandemic.

Individuals who want to be listed as sponsors/supporters, please contact us. 

To add your organization’s name to our list of supporters, email  contact@cfotsego.org.

  • Alex’s World Bistro
  • Antonio Delgado, U.S. Congressman, New York District 19
  • Assemblyman John Salka, NY State Assembly District 121
  • Bank of Cooperstown
  • Brewery Ommegang
  • Farm Credit East
  • Hometown Oneonta / The Freeman’s Journal / AllOTSEGO.com
  • James Jordan Associates Architects
  • James L. Seward, NYS Senator, 51st Senate District
  • Leatherstocking Region Federal Credit Union
  • Michael Stein Fundraising Counsel LLC
  • Opportunities for Otsego
  • Otsego County Board of Representatives
  • Paperkite Creative
  • Richland County Foundation, Robert and Esther Black Family Foundation
  • Rotary Club of Oneonta, NY
  • The City of Oneonta Common Council
  • The Oneonta/Cooperstown and Turnpike Pennysavers
  • Town Board of the Town of Cherry Valley
  • Town Board of the Town of Otsego
  • Town Board of the Town of Springfield
  • Town Board of the Town of Worcester
  • Village of Cooperstown Board of Trustees

Grants Awarded

To Everyone who has joined the Community Foundation of Otsego County in helping us with the COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund and to those who are ready to donate today:

The Community Foundation of Otsego County continues making good progress with the COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund. We now have issued awards to five organizations and have five more under review. Others are in various stages of completing applications. Here is the list of current awards:

  • Helios Care – $5,000 to purchase PPE for its staff who make visits to patient homes.
  • Catholic Charities -$5,000 to purchase PPE and supplies for child care providers in private homes.
  • Bassett Medical Center – $7,500 to distribute gift cards for gas and food to employees who have been furloughed or had hours reduced due to clearing the facility for COVID related use.
  • Fox Hospital – $3,000 for the same use as Bassett Medical Center.
  • Cooperstown Food Pantry – $3,000 to purchase farmers market vouchers to give to Pantry families to replace the shortage of food from grocery stores.

In total, we have committed (or reserved for applications under review) $70,000 and the funds are being disbursed within 10 days of considering each complete application.

We are reaching out also to support solutions to known needs for which no applications have been received. For example, we know that undocumented people are reluctant to take advantage of food pantries and other services. We want to find ways to assist them. Another example, as businesses resume operations, they must comply with extensive regulations and operating procedures. Small businesses need guidance for how to do all this properly.

On the fund-raising side, the COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund now exceeds $175,000 from over 230 families and individuals. We are pleased with the community’s support of this effort. More is needed and we encourage you to help.

Go to www.cfotsego.org to join us or mail a check to CFOC, Box 25, Springfield Center, NY 13468.

Thank you to everyone who contributed already. Let’s keep going.

Harry Levine

 

Priorities and Procedures for the Fund

Community Foundation of Otsego County recognizes that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to intensify locally, it will have disproportionate health, economic and social impacts on our most vulnerable neighbors.  We also recognize that recovery from the pandemic will require significant investments over an extended time period.  Therefore, we have two goals for the Fund: 1) relief from immediate shortages and impacts created by the crisis; and 2) assistance in recovery efforts once the crisis abates.

Our immediate concern is relief.  We will give awards to existing nonprofit organizations that are on the front lines of responding to these needs.  Awards will be issued to meet the following priorities:

  • Support for the medical workers, EMTs, police, firefighters and others working in essential industries who are risking their own health to serve the community.
  • Prevention measures (education, sanitary supplies) that limit the spread of the virus.
  • Support for vulnerable populations, i.e. older adults, people with compromised immune systems and people who are unhoused. 
  • Practical needs, in case of a disruption in services to vulnerable populations, such as meal delivery and daily living support for homebound older adults.
  • Food access and other practical supports for people who may have lost wages or who are unable to stock up on food, specifically those who may fall in the gaps of any government-led structural responses.
  • Support for workers, especially low-wage workers, to address lack of access to healthcare and paid sick leave, lack of proper safety equipment, economic impact of lost wages due to quarantines, cancelled activities, reduced hours/layoffs.
  • Other emerging, immediate needs.

As we learn more about the impacts of the pandemic, our priorities may change.  All changes will be posted on this site.

Award applications will be reviewed by an Initiatives Committee composed of three members of the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Otsego County and three members of the public.  All committee recommendations will require approval by our Board of Directors.  We have no deadlines or scheduled responses and will attempt to meet needs as they arise.

We have shortened the application process in recognition of the emergent responses required.  The Initiatives Committee will meet as necessary, as will our Board so that we can be responsive.

At this time, awards will be issued only to existing nonprofit organizations operating and located within Otsego County.  No applications can be accepted from individuals.

The Foundation is working remotely; please no phone calls. For questions, please email contact@cfotsego.org

Thank you for all that you are doing for our area during this time of heightened concern.

Award Application

Instructions to Applicants

  • Please answer all questions. 
  • Applications must be submitted online.
  • If an award is offered, your Board must formally accept it before funds are disbursed.
  • We request that a report be submitted on the use of award funds. Reports must include metrics on the success or failure of the program or activity that the award supports, evaluations of how the proposed program performed in comparison to expectations, and what changes will be made if the program continues.  Reports will be required before the Fund will consider follow-up second awards.
  • Applicants must be existing 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations operating and located within Otsego County.  Groups fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization or other charitable entity such as schools or other public entities are eligible but must submit evidence of the sponsorship (funds will be disbursed through that sponsor, which must also provide the identifying information requested in our application).  Awards cannot be made directly to businesses or individuals.

Frequently Asked Questions

All individuals and organizations are invited to join us and contribute to the Fund.  We are One Community – One County and we need to come together to assist those of us most in need of help. Donations can be sent to the Community Foundation of Otsego County, PO Box 55, Springfield Center, NY 13468, but giving online will help us get funds to nonprofit partners quicker.

​For gifts of stock or other indirect gifts requiring assistance, please email us at contact@cfotsego.org.

Donations are tax deductible and donors will receive acknowledgment letters.

We can use your help getting the word out into the community! Please consider liking and sharing our Facebook page. Contact us at contact@cfotsego.org.

The Community Foundation of Otsego County is not taking any fees to process or administer the Fund.  Donations made through credit cards have the option to cover credit card processing fees.

The Fund was created to provide a coordinated response to support human service organizations serving those in greatest need as a result of the pandemic. To ensure we efficiently respond to the needs of communities most impacted, we are not considering restricted donations to the Fund at this time.  Please contact directly the specific organization if you would like to support that group too.

The Fund was created to help focus a regional response in a time of crisis. This is a critical time for so many, including the nonprofit organizations that have benefited from your giving in the past. This Fund will allow many organizations to continue to work diligently to provide services to our community members affected by this pandemic. Now is the time to double down for our community if you are able. You should decide how to help in a way that best agrees with your charitable goals.

The Fund’s priorities can be viewed here.  These priorities emphasize immediate relief to those most severely affected by the pandemic and least able to respond.  The Fund will also support those of us who are engaged in essential services such as medical, transportation, food delivery and first responders.  Longer term, and if money is still available, the Fund will shift its efforts to aiding recovery efforts.  Successful applicants will be those existing nonprofit organizations with proven track records of successfully delivering services in our region and capacity to handle the increased work.  The Fund is not an endowment fund; all donations are expected to be disbursed to meet the immediate needs created by COVID-19.

We understand the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting nonprofits in many ways, including increased demand for their services, lost revenue due to closures and cancellations, as well as other challenges. The Community Foundation of Otsego County and our community partners are working together to ensure that the Fund’s awards meet the critical needs in communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Funding will be provided to organizations located and operating in Otsego County. 

In order to move resources quickly and let us know of your organization’s needs, please complete the short application found here.

As we learn more about the impact of the pandemic, the priorities of the Fund may change.  Please look for such changes on our website to see if you may now qualify for funding.

The COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund for Otsego County will serve organizations in Otsego County, New York.

This Fund will help nonprofit organizations meet human service needs of those affected by the pandemic’s impact. Applications are reviewed by an Initiatives Committee and formally approved by the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Otsego County. The goal is to have the greatest possible impact on the largest possible number of community residents in need.  A full list of awards will be published.

Nonprofit organizations meeting human service needs for those affected by the pandemic’s impact can apply for awards from the Fund. Applications are reviewed by an Initiatives Committee consisting of at least three members of the Board of the Community Foundation of Otsego County and at least three members of the public with experience in our region’s human services area.  All awards must be formally approved by the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Otsego County.

All awards will be posted on this website within a week of being awarded and accepted.

The best place to start your search for local information is the County’s Department of Public Health website at https://www.otsegocounty.com/departments/d-m/health_department/covid19.php   

For emergencies, please call the Otsego County Hotline 211 or the Bassett Medical Center Hotline at 607-547-5555.

Funding is awarded only to nonprofit groups. We understand many individuals and families have been affected already by the pandemic and more will continue to be affected. The purpose of this Fund is to move resources to community-based organizations that are directly supporting residents and families who are most suffering from emerging health, economic and social impacts.

While the Fund does not provide awards to individuals, it is funding community-based organizations that have experience and history of providing people and families with services and support.  As we begin to make awards, we will post them to this website.

If you are an individual looking for resources we encourage you to contact the County’s Department of Public Health.

Many worthwhile organizations in our county need support during this crisis and we encourage you to support your own favorite organizations. To our knowledge, this Fund is the only coordinated, community-wide funding effort in Otsego County that is targeted specifically to address the crisis caused by COVID-19.

Community Foundation of Otsego County

What is the Community Foundation of Otsego County?

The Community Foundation of Otsego County was created in 2019 with the mission of improving the quality of life for all of us in the Otsego County area. It was about to publicly announce its formation when COVID-19 attacked. Rather than wait until the emergency passed, the Board of the Foundation decided that now is the time of greatest need and the Foundation must take a leading role in addressing the challenge.

Our long-term goal is to aggregate financial and human resources to help solve the problems facing Otsego County. We distribute awards to nonprofit organizations in our community and partner with them to reach solutions.

Who is the Community Foundation of Otsego County?

CFOC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity registered with the New York State Attorney General. The Foundation is managed by a Board of Directors.  Currently, there are 15 members. The Board of Directors represent the community and has no special interests. We are responsible to our public and listen carefully to the community when setting our priorities.

At this time, we have no staff and are being managed entirely by unpaid volunteers.

We have an agency relationship with the Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties for management of our investment assets. 

Our IRS determination letter is available here.

What is the Financial Condition of the Community Foundation of Otsego County?

The Foundation has a healthy balance sheet. To request documentation, email us at contact@cfotsego.org.

Board of Directors

Harry Levine, President
Retired Real Estate Developer; Former Pres,
Otsego Land Trust; Former Pres, Princeton (NJ) Public Library

Gary Herzig, Vice President
Mayor, Oneonta; Former COO, Opportunities for Otsego

Robert Schlather, Secretary
Attorney, Partner Schlather and Birch; Member, various non-profit boards

Scott White, Treasurer
President, Bank of Cooperstown

Lou Allstadt
Retired EVP, Exxon Mobil; Former Trustee, Village of Cooperstown

David Bliss
Chair, Otsego County Board of Representatives; Real Estate Broker; Farmer

Alan Donovan
Retired President, SUNY Oneonta

Faith Gay
Attorney, Founding Partner, Selendy and Gay

Donna Johnson
Coordinator of Articulation and Transfer Credit, SUNY Oneonta

Patricia Kennedy
Executive Director, Springbrook

Sarah Manchester 
Limited Partner, Edward Jones, financial advisors; Former Chair, Oneonta United Way and YMCA 

Andrew Marietta
Manager, Central New York office, NYCON; Member,
Otsego County Board of Representatives

Candice Shannon
Former President, The Brookwood School; Member, Friends of the Village Library of Cooperstown

Tom Simpson
Former Director of Finance and Administration in the legal field; Trustee of The Glimmerglass Festival; Member, Musica Viva NY

Patricia Smith
Board member, Greater Norwich Foundation; 
Emeritus Trustee, Miss Hall’s School

The Community Foundation of Otsego County is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (Federal Tax ID 84-2243769) registered with the NYS Attorney General. Copies of our annual filings with the NYS Attorney General are available from the Department of Law, Charities Bureau, 28 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10005.  212-416-8400.

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF OTSEGO COUNTY
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