The Upstate Foundation

The Upstate Foundation was founded in 1976 as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation. The corporation is a public charity designed to receive and administer gifts and bequests exclusively for charitable purposes with a focus on (1) the provision of patient health care, (2) the education of health care providers, (3) scientific research, and (4) community health and well-being. The Upstate Foundation is also the primary vehicle for receiving and distributing philanthropic gifts for Upstate Medical University. 

The Foundation has 25 full- and part-time staff members, who with a 44-member board of directors, manage more than 900 funds; conduct multi-year, million-dollar endowment campaigns; capital campaigns; administer alumni associations for the Upstate colleges of Nursing and Health Professions; implement named giving and planned giving programs; run annual campaigns for Upstate University Hospital, Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital and the Upstate Cancer Center; and sponsor several major fundraising events, and many third-party events annually. In addition, the Foundation is home to the local chapter of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The Foundation is largely self-supporting. Its assets managed total over $180.5 million. 

Thank you to our donors

Impact is an important word at the Upstate Foundation. We even developed a tagline recently reinforcing this. Our constant endeavor is to ensure that the philanthropic interests of our donors are matched appropriately with organizational needs to “impact patient care, education, research, and community health and well-being through charitable giving.”

To that end, in 2018, the Upstate Foundation raised more than $6 million in support of projects and programs across Upstate Medical University. Meanwhile, more than $5 million was awarded to help meet a diverse array of needs, from technology and patient programs to student scholarships and groundbreaking research, and much more.

We know our donors share our commitment to impact. This impels us to seek out the latest developments in philanthropy in order to provide additional avenues for giving. We are pleased to announce that the Upstate Foundation now offers donor-advised funds. The National Philanthropic Trust has noted that individual donor-advised funds are “the fastest-growing vehicle in philanthropy.” We are proud to be one of the very few foundations in Central New York to offer this newer giving option. 

Also in 2018, our legacy giving program continued to be an attractive option for donors, with eight new members welcomed into the Upstate Legacy Society. Brighter Beginnings – Upstate’s Campaign for Newborns exceeded its $1 million goal. And we learned that, like college students across the country, some of our own scholars are experiencing food insecurity; the Foundation assisted in a new campus initiative to help alleviate this vital need. And year-end brought news of a $75,000 grant from the Walbridge Fund for neuroscience research at Upstate.

Join us in celebrating the many donors, from all walks of life, who gave so generously to help others. We also thank those who dedicate their time, including Foundation board members, Upstate Council members, volunteers and Foundation staff members.

Thank you all!


Upstate Foundation receives GuideStar’s top distinction

The Upstate Foundation has achieved Platinum distinction from 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 GuideStar’s nonprofit profiles. Donors, funders, researchers, educators, professional service providers, governing agencies and the media use the GuideStar site, seen by seven million visitors annually.

According to GuideStar, 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 GuideStar’s Bronze, Silver and Gold level distinctions, which offer increasingly detailed organizational information ranging from basic contact information to qualitative information. For the first time, GuideStar 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. “GuideStar Platinum is one more way for the Upstate Foundation to provide transparency so our donors can see the impact of their gifts.”