Gifford Foundation Allocates $454,000 in Capacity Building Support to Five Nonprofits

(Syracuse, NY) – The Gifford Foundation has announced the newest cohort for ADVANS (Advancing and Developing the Assets and Value of Nonprofits in Syracuse), a major capacity building initiative started by the Foundation in 2007. A total of $454,000 in capacity assistance will be available to the ADVANS 6 organizations.

The five new nonprofits range in size and focus area; over the next two years each will undertake an intensive assessment and capacity planning process and each will receive $69,500 in grants and local consulting service.

Lead consultant Stephanie Small will also visit regularly to provide technical assistance and to convene a learning community of organizations and consultants.

The five newest ADVANS organizations:

  • AccessCNY was founded in 2015 as the result of the merger of Enable and Transitional Living Services (TLS). AccessCNY offers person-centered services that empower individuals of all ages and abilities to reach their full potential as part of our shared community.


  • The Child Advocacy Center (CAC) of Oswego County provides a safe, child-friendly site for the investigation, prosecution and treatment of child abuse and offers a wide range of services to children who have been physically, sexually, or emotionally abused.


  • Center for Community Alternatives (CCA) works with and advocates for people who have been involved with the criminal justice system. Their mission is to promote re-integrative justice and a reduced reliance on incarceration through advocacy, services and public policy development in pursuit of civil and human rights.


  • Clear Path for Veterans is Upstate New York’s Veteran Resource Center serving as a hub of information, programs and resources. Clear Path for Veterans empowers service members, veterans, and their families through supportive programs and services in a safe, respectful environment.


  • The Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County, Inc. (OnVLP) is the largest provider of pro bono legal services in Central New York. Their mission is to engage the legal community in providing access to justice to those in need.

ADVANS follows the organizational capacity model developed by Dr. Susan Kenny Stevens as outlined in the book Nonprofit Lifecycles: Stage-based Wisdom for Nonprofit Capacity. The organizations will work with trained area consultants utilizing the self-assessment techniques of Dr. Stevens, and then identify their primary capacity needs.

In October 2017 the ADVANS Initiative will celebrate ten years since its inception. With this new cohort the program continues to offer further opportunities to Central New York’s nonprofits. By the end of 2019 the Foundation will have invested $3.8 million in building the capacity of 34 nonprofits across four counties, 25 professional consultants will have been trained in the Lifecycles model and more than 150 community members will have participated on leadership teams.

“It’s exciting to kick off the 10th anniversary of the entire ADVANS capacity building program with ADVANS 6, and I look forward to working with the new cohort of organizations and consultants,” states lead consultant Stephanie Small. “Credit should go to the Gifford Foundation board for continuing a program that has been so impactful to the Central New York community.”