Next Generation

“To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – this is to have succeeded.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

At Adirondack Foundation, we promote philanthropy because we believe that even the smallest generous acts make the world a better place. We also know that the Adirondack region, like many rural areas in the U.S., is home to an aging population. So it's more important than ever to engage young adults and get them involved with the organizations and causes that are working to improve the quality of life in our communities.

Adirondack Foundation's Next Generation initiative aims to inform young philanthropists, including full-time and seasonal residents, about important issues in the Adirondack region, things like broadband development, agriculture, economic development and tourism. The goal is two-fold: to raise awareness for the organizations and individuals that are directly involved with addressing these issues and to increase financial support for them.

Our Next Generation work seeks to debunk the myth that young adults don't practice charitable giving. In fact, research shows that more than 75 percent of young adults in the U.S. gave to charities in 2013. But there's a catch: young people want to feel engaged.


In 2011, Adirondack Foundation teamed up with The Prospect Hill Foundation and Overhills Foundation to host a symposium at The Wild Center for multiple generations of Adirondack families.

The symposium, "Adirondacks in the 21st Century at a Crossroads: A Working Landscape or Wilderness Park," attracted more than 80 people and featured a panel discussion which included ecologist Jerry Jenkins, Mike Carr of the Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and Brian Mann of North Country Public Radio. The panel was moderated by Open Space Institute Director Kim Elliman.

As a result, Adirondack Foundation began working with its partners to engage the next generation of Adirondack philanthropists in hopes of increasing awareness of and support for a variety of Adirondack issues. In 2013, the three foundations hosted a similar event, "Adirondack TED-Style Talks," at the Adirondack Museum.

"It was an opportunity for people in my generation and others to learn more about the Adirondacks, this place that all of our families have enjoyed for generations." - Carrie Elston Tunick

Twelve speakers presented on a range of topics, including:

  • Mark Dzwonczyk, Nicholville Telephone, "Rural Internet: Staying Engaged"
  • Brian Mann and Natasha Haverty, North Country Public Radio, "Prison Time: How Prisons Reshaped the Adirondack Economy"
  • Andrew Lewis, Aquatic Invasive Management. "Breathing New Life Into the Adirondack Economy"
  • Lee Keet, "Adirondack Business Creators"
  • Joanna and David Brunner, Asgaard Farm, "Making a Go of Agriculture"
  • Steven Svoboda, Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts, "Arts in the Park"
  • Jim McKenna, Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, and Connie Prickett, Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, "Heart of the Park Beats Stronger: How New Public Lands and Expanded Recreation are Sparking New Ideas"
  • Jim Herman and Dave Mason, Adirondack Futures, "Where do we want to be in 25 years?"

Check out our YouTube page for more footage from "Adirondack TED-Style Talks."

To learn more, or to get involved, email Stanzi Bliss at