Your Community Foundation At Work


Our Mission

Enhancing the lives of people in the Adirondack region through philanthropy.

Our Vision

Against a backdrop of scenic beauty, our communities are strong, just and inclusive, family wellbeing is supported through quality healthcare, education, and economic opportunity, nature is valued and protected, and arts and culture thrive.

Our Promise

We listen. We stay current on local issues and create connections that make a difference. We celebrate the bright spots and help identify the gaps. Neighbor to neighbor engagement allows us to learn and to share our knowledge. Through our daily actions, we demonstrate our passions and our resolve that we are committed to the people of the Adirondacks today, tomorrow, and always. 

Our Values

We are committed to being:

  • Sincere collaborators and ambassadors for the Adirondacks
  • Accountable to communities, donors, partners, and each other
  • Inclusive and welcoming of diversity
  • Compassionate listeners and connectors
  • Catalysts for positive change

Our Story

Adirondack Foundation was created to help philanthropically inclined individuals and families maximize the impact of their giving. Our collection of funds, established through gifts, is pooled and invested. The income from these funds is distributed through grants. We offer donors convenience and more: we're local, we know the issues our communities face, and we know the nonprofits working to solve them. We research each nonprofit organization before we make a grant to make sure that it is financially and programmatically sound. By joining a community of donors, an individual can have greater impact because his/her grants are combined with those of other generous donors.  

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. Read more about community foundations in the Community Foundation Fact Sheet.

Adirondack Foundation accepts gifts, invests the money, and distributes the income to organizations that meet donor interest and charitable intent. In many ways, it's just like having your own foundation, without the work and costs associated with administering a separate entity. Adirondack Foundation magnifies the impact of charitable giving by actively seeking opportunities where modest grants can achieve improved results. By making timely grants to nonprofit organizations, we provide donors with perpetual stewardship of their charitable dollars.

In 1995, Fred Brown and Meredith Prime, serving on the Lake Placid Education Foundation's Board of Directors, 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 (Adirondack Community Trust or 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. In 2013, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to change the organization's name to Adirondack Foundation.