February 16th, 2021
Our Commitment to You: Our Recent Actions for Co-Creating a More Just Community
Your Community Foundation makes this statement in these unprecedented times of threats to our democracy. At all times, but especially in these conditions, we recommit our collective resources, diverse voices, and reputational influence in partnership with you in service of our mission to improve the quality of life for all in Tompkins County.
We make this statement as a community foundation because our calling is to work with those who seek to create, nurture, and protect a community of connection, belonging, justice, and prosperity with equitable opportunity and results for all.
We do this with an unshakeable dedication to work for racial justice by engaging in respectful dialogue as we build awareness of broken systems and support coalitions that will address complex challenges such as poverty, food insecurity, and inequity in the legal system.
We denounce anti-democratic violence, which seeks to silence and intimidate the historically oppressed. We must root out and eliminate the differential use of force which perpetuates racism and institutionalized forms of oppression. Just as the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affects communities of color and those living in poverty, undemocratic actions and inequitable reactions to them continue to sustain deadly systems of inequity.
Community Foundation culture emphasizes reflection, learning, humility, and adjusting our work. We also honor lifting up the importance of expanding voices as well as broadening who has the power to do this work and who is in control of this work.
We pledge our efforts to this work by restructuring our organizational culture by removing barriers and listening to, being challenged, and changed by the voices of those communities who have often been underrepresented and marginalized, particularly those who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. We must examine and share, without precondition, our privilege and our power so that the promise of philanthropy reaches everyone in every community in Tompkins County.
Your Community Foundation has recently made three financial decisions to advance social justice and support our community in a time of continued great need. We welcome your input and constructive criticism. We will have additional announcements about further actions in the coming months.
1-Due to continuing pandemic and social justice needs and to our success in our 2020 investments, we have increased the spendable rate, the percentage of endowed funds available for grantmaking, from 4% to an unprecedented 5% in 2021.
2-We are re-allocating $5.6 million of assets into our ESG/SRI (Environment, Sustainability, Governance/Socially Responsible Investments) pool, more than doubling that portfolio and representing 43% of total Foundation assets.
3-Our recently adopted FY21 budget includes a 300% increase to $10,000 for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice improvements of Foundation programs and operations.