Monday, November 24, 2014

About Grantmakers Forum of New York

Become a Friend of Grantmakers ForumFriends are individuals or organizations that provide annual operating donations.  Download a donation form.   

See a list of 2014 Friends in our annual report.


Grantmakers Forum of New York serves as the primary organization for engaging Upstate New York funders in their quest for philanthropic excellence.


Grantmakers Forum of New York unites and empowers funders to achieve their philanthropic aspirations. Through Grantmakers Forum, grantmakers of diverse backgrounds and experience connect to share and increase their knowledge, improve their practice, and address philanthropic opportunities that make a positive social, economic and environmental impact.


Grantmakers Forum of New York:

•  Promotes effective, strategic philanthropy through programs, services, and resources.

•  Strengthens organizational capacity, builds philanthropic relationships, and expands membership to ensure measured, sustainable growth.

•  Leads and collaborates to address issues and opportunities that support effective philanthropy and a productive nonprofit sector.

•  Advocates through effective communications about the value of philanthropy and the philanthropic sector to the larger community.

Forum board

The Grantmakers Forum of New York is led by a Board of Directors representative of grantmaker members in the region; volunteer committees oversee most functions.


Forum staff

Lisa Fasolo Frishman, Executive Director - press release


Grantmakers Forum of New York is a member of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers,  the largest philanthropic network in the world.  A national network of regional associations serving and advancing philanthropy in their areas, the Forum of Regional Associations represents more than 4,000 foundations, corporations, organizations and individual donors - a network that serves as a bridge between existing grantmakers and potential ones.

As a member of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, The Grantmakers Forum of New York endorses the defined roles of regional associations.

Grantmakers Forum of New York is a member of Grantmakers For Effective Organizations (GEO), a national community of grantmakers focused on helping grantees achieve more.  Understanding that grantmakers are successful only to the extent that their grantees achieve meaningful results, GEO promotes strategies and practices that contribute to grantee success.


Grantmakers Forum is a member of Independent Sector - a national forum for charities, foundations and corporate giving programs committed to advancing the common good. This membership is continued in 2011 through a grant from the Harold S. and Joan Feinbloom Family Foundation.


Grantmakers Forum maintains a membership in BoardSource - a national organization that strengthens nonprofits boards through publications, tools and consulting.


Acknowledging the importance of the nonprofit sector in our region, Grantmakers Forum of New York maintains a membership in the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON).


Services for Grantmakers

Networking.  Our grantmaker members tell us that they derive the most benefit from networking with other organizations doing similar work in their communities. 

Members come together in community action roundtables to explore local issues and discuss their charitable distribution strategies.  National and state experts in the field are invited to our region to share their work with funders. 

We hold meetings tailored to the needs of different types of grantmakers: community foundations, corporations or family foundations; and periodically bring together funders from around the state to participate in workshops or conferences.  Visit our events page for current information.


Knowledge .   The Grantmakers Forum provides publications, research and education to members on management, governance and grantmaking issues.

The Grantmakers Forum produces a monthly member e-newsletter with information about the region and philanthropy.   

Essential Skills & Strategies for New Grantmakers takes participants through a program designed to help them build a framework for ethical and effective grantmaking.

The Grantmakers Forum provides data and statistics about grantmaking and grantmakers in Upstate New York.


Advocacy .   The Grantmakers Forum plays an active role to promote the nonprofit sector and philanthropy throughout Upstate NY, particularly with media, regulators, and policymakers.  

We keep members informed about state and national policy, which affects the nonprofit sector in general and grantmakers in particular, and encourage group action when warranted.  

A delegation of members from the Grantmakers Forum travels to Washington, D.C. each Spring to take part in a national “Foundations on the Hill” when funders meet with Congressional members to address issues of concern.   This activity has shown a direct impact on pending legislation over the past few years.  Visit our public policy section for more information.

The Grantmakers Forum does not make grants nor does it  provide fundraising information and/or referral for individual nonprofits. It does offer the following support/services for the nonprofit sector:

News & Events


Job Openings Positions in Philanthropy

2013-2014 GFNY Annual Report

Introduction to Philanthropy in Upstate New York
Open to the Public
November 13, 2014

Conversations for Grantmakers
Monthly webinar series.