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Community Foundation Awards Grant to Oswego’s Marine Museum

OSWEGO, NY – The Central New York Community Foundation and the Richard S. Shineman Foundation partnered to award a $20,000 Strategic Partnership Grant to the H. Lee White Marine Museum.

The Marine Museum will utilize the grant to assist with strategic planning, legal, accounting and promotional costs associated with the organization’s formal merger with the Oswego Maritime Foundation and the Oswego Maritime Alliance.

“This grant will not only help the museum continue through a formal merge process, but it will also help us develop our organization’s newly expanded mission to develop, enhance, interpret and highlight educational activities and programs focused on Oswego’s waterfront,” said Mercedes Niess, executive director of the H. Lee White Marine Museum. “The most exciting part about this merger is its opportunity to improve programming in size, quality and scope.”

The newly merged organization plans to develop and expand its existing programs, which include junior sailing, floating classrooms, lecture series, and boat and model building. In addition, it plans to develop new programs that highlight the history, preservation and recreational use of the region’s waterfront for the benefit of the Greater Oswego community.

For example, the three organizations’ combined volunteers, staff and members will develop a full set of programs focused on a new schooner – the Ontario – which joins the museum this summer.

In addition, the museum plans to partner with other community organizations to bring a number of tall ships to the harbor next year when Oswego celebrates its participation in the War of 1812. It anticipates that the newly combined resources of the three organizations will enhance the efficiency, planning and development of these celebration activities.

“This merger will create a more effective structure for managing Oswego’s rich maritime history and delivering a broad spectrum of waterfront programs and services to the community,” said John Eberle, vice president of Grantmaking and Community Initiatives at the Community Foundation. “Through this Strategic Partnership Grant, we hope to enable long-range plans and strategies for an all-encompassing maritime center in this region that has future expansion potential, both physically and organizationally.”

About the Strategic Partnership Fund

The Strategic Partnership Fund, formed by the Community Foundation, supports projects that reduce nonprofit operational expenses while working to enhance program delivery in the community.

Funded projects involve administrative consolidation or affiliations, joint programming, regionalizations, forming a subsidiary or a full-scale merger among two or more nonprofits.

Since the fund’s inception in 2009, more than $285,000 has been granted to help organizations streamline their operations.

As of January, 2013, a total of $4.8 million was reported to have been activated or saved as a result of those awarded partnerships.

Additional information about the Fund, including how to apply for a grant, can be found at www.cnycf.org/partner

About the Central New York Community Foundation

Established in 1927, the Central New York Community Foundation encourages local philanthropy by supporting the growth of a permanent charitable endowment for the betterment of the region.

The Community Foundation is the largest charitable foundation in the region with assets of more than $143 million. It awarded $8.3 million in grants last year to nonprofit organizations and since its inception has invested more than $120 million in the community.

The Community Foundation serves as the steward of charitable legacies for individuals, families and businesses through the administration of more than 600 funds.

The organization also serves as a civic leader, convener and sponsor of special initiatives designed to strengthen nonprofits that address the region’s most pressing challenges.

The Community Foundation, of 431 East Fayette Street, Syracuse, NY, 13202, can be reached at (315) 422-9538 or www.cnycf.org

About the Richard S. Shineman Foundation

The Richard S. Shineman Foundation is a private foundation established in 2012 by the bequest of Richard S. Shineman, a tenured professor of chemistry at SUNY Oswego.

Its vision is to become a “Catalyst for Change” across Central New York and, in particular, Oswego County.

The foundation uses its financial resources to work towards this vision by building the capacity of not-for-profit organizations to enhance the quality of life in their communities.

Contact lauren@shinemanfoundation.org or visit www.shinemanfoundation.org for more information.

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