The Upstate Foundation

The Upstate Foundation was founded in 1976 as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation to receive and administer gifts and bequests for charitable purposes with a focus on patient care, education, scientific research, and community health and well-being. A public charity with the ability to make distributions to any qualified nonprofit organization, the Upstate Foundation’s primary orientation is supporting the mission of Upstate Medical University.

The Foundation’s staff works with an engaged board of directors to manage over 1,200 funds; conduct multi-year, multi-million dollar capital and endowment campaigns; administer alumni associations for the colleges of Nursing and Health Professions; implement named giving and planned giving programs, and a grateful patient and family program; run annual campaigns for Upstate University Hospital, Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital and the Upstate Cancer Center; and sponsor several signature fundraising events annually. In addition, the Foundation is home to the local chapter of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

The Upstate Foundation offers donor-advised funds and is licensed to issue charitable gift annuities in New York and Florida.

The Foundation is largely self-supporting with the assets it manages totaling more than $260 million.

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Thank you to our donors

Love of humanity. In ancient Greek, this is the meaning of the word “philanthropy.” At the Upstate Foundation, we try to put it into practice every day.

We work diligently to match the interests of donors with the needs of our community in order to improve the health and well-being of our region.

We are inspired by each of you, our loyal donors, and the stories that bind you to the Upstate mission – whether you or a loved one were treated at our hospitals and want to pass it on, or you want to help seek new cures and treatments, or you want to encourage a student on their educational journey.

2023 was a remarkable year, with more than $13 million raised for an incredible variety of programs and projects. Perhaps most notable has been the community’s response to our campaign to help address the urgent need around child and adolescent mental health. We exceeded our original goal, and made a commitment to continue this effort for an additional year. This campaign has touched us in unexpected ways, and reminds us of our purpose on a daily basis.

It has been said that a philanthropist is a person who donates time, treasure or talent to help create a better world and make life better for other people. And anyone can be a philanthropist, regardless of status or net worth. We believe there is no higher calling.

Thank you for trusting us with your philanthropy, and for joining us in the effort to make our corner of the world a better place.

Candid/GuideStar’s top distinction

The Upstate Foundation has achieved Platinum distinction from Candid/GuideStar, the leading source of information on the programs, finances and impact of more than 1.8 million IRS-recognized nonprofit organizations.

Platinum is the highest level of recognition in Candid’s nonprofit profiles. Donors, funders, researchers, educators, professional service providers, governing agencies and the media use the Candid site, seen by seven million visitors annually.

According to Candid, the Platinum distinction encourages nonprofit organizations to share their progress and results in important new ways—moving way beyond simplistic financial ratios—to reflect the changes organizations are making in the world.

The Upstate Foundation had previously received Candid’s Bronze, Silver and Gold level distinctions, which offer increasingly detailed organizational information ranging from basic contact information to qualitative information. Now, Candid Platinum allows nonprofits to report their progress against their missions in quantitative terms. As an early adopter of Platinum recognition, the Upstate Foundation is demonstrating its commitment to measuring progress and results, and sharing that information with potential funders.

“Our donors expect us to use their contributed dollars wisely and appropriately to alleviate illness, search for knowledge and educate tomorrow’s health care practitioners,” said Eileen Pezzi, vice president for development at Upstate. “Candid's Platinum is one more way for the Upstate Foundation to provide transparency so our donors can see the impact of their gifts.”