National Foundations

CenterState CEO’s unique work has drawn the attention of national foundations and partners, establishing CenterState CEO and the region as a best practice model in the areas of regional economic development, sustainability, and equity.

Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation has awarded CenterState CEO $800,000 in grant funds to advance its Creative Communities Initiative, aimed at promoting sustainable and equitable economic and community development in the region. An initial grant of $650,000 was awarded to develop this multi-year strategy to identify catalytic urban infrastructure investments. The Ford Foundation awarded an additional $150,000 enabling work with the newly formed Center for Community Progress (an offshoot of the National Vacant Properties Campaign) to further advance the development of land banking and vacant property strategies. As part of this effort, CenterState CEO provides technical assistance to the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County in support of their efforts to create a county-wide land bank authority, a vacant property reuse strategy, a regional land use strategy, and a streamlined property tax collection system. The initiative has the potential to become a model for other cities.

Surdna Foundation

CenterState CEO has drawn support from national funders, including the Surdna Foundation which awarded CEO a $300,000 grant to enhance critical elements of its regional economic development strategy, and to address program integration priorities resulting from the organization’s recent merger. The award covers a 36-month period, with $100,000 allocated for each year. The Surdna Foundation issues grants in the areas of sustainable environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures in order to foster just and sustainable communities. The funding has prompted additional conversations with university partners in the region about how to best leverage additional private support for our regional development efforts.

Brookings Institution

CenterState CEO was excited to be working with regional partners and the Brookings Institution to develop a Metropolitan Business Plan (MBP) and a Metropolitan Export Initiative (MEI). These separate, yet integrated initiatives, will allow CenterState CEO to engage stakeholders across the 12-county CenterState region to create a renewed regional economic development and business growth strategy.