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

The Upstate Foundation made history in 2017 – awarding nearly $8.4 million in support of Upstate Medical University while also raising more than $16 million. The latter is the most ever in the Foundation’s 41-year history. The year’s highlight was the largest donation ever given to Upstate, an $8 million gift from Sam and Carol Nappi of Jamesville that names the Nappi Longevity Institute.

Other 2017 highlights included the Brighter Beginnings campaign, which has raised more than $1 million to date to support the maternity unit and nursery renovation project at Upstate’s Community Campus. Working with Upstate physicians, nurses, other health care professionals and hospital leadership, the Foundation’s Grateful Patient & Family Program raised more than $500,000. Upstate Gala proceeds of $348,000 were directed toward patient care, education and research in the area of neurodegenerative diseases. Through Friend in Deed, the annual fund for Upstate University Hospital, nearly $130,000 was awarded to 27 patient care, research and patient educationinitiatives. And, the Foundation’s annual endowment investment performance ranked in the top 5 percent in a national survey of nearly 800 colleges and universities.

The Upstate Legacy Society welcomed five new members, bringing total membership in the society to 41. Additionally, a Legacy Giving Professional Advisory Council was formed, a panel of 11 highly respected estate planning professionals from the Syracuse community.

In addition to supporting Upstate University Hospital, including the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital and the Upstate Cancer Center, the Foundation supports Upstate’s robust research enterprise and its four colleges, providing funding for scholarships, lectureships, grand rounds and other educational initiatives.

We’re proud to mark 2017 as a momentous year, but this accomplishment is only possible through the generosity of the many donors.

Thank you all for your part in a history-making year!


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.”