The Schenectady Foundation

Catalyst for Community Change

Schenectady, NY   |

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GuideStar Charity Check

The Schenectady Foundation

EIN: 14-6019650


The mission of The Schenectady Foundation is to achieve sustainable improvement in the health and welfare of the people, organizations and neighborhoods in Schenectady County through the investment of philanthropic resources. We strive to be a catalyst for community change, a convener of people and organizations, and a custodian of the resources entrusted to us. The Foundation is supported by the Schenectady Foundation, Inc., our Trustees, and our community.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Mr. Robert A. Carreau

Main address

PO Box 710

Schenectady, NY 12301 USA

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Subject area info

Arts and culture



Community improvement

Housing development

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Population served info

Children and youth



Non-adult children

Economically disadvantaged people

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NTEE code info

Community Foundations (T31)

Community Foundations (T31)

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Schenectady Foundation is intent on engaging community partners to achieve sustainable change on the most challenging issues. In 2020, our primary work was to organize a collective impact effort to address urgent needs of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of our efforts, it became clear that Food Security and Access to Healthy Food were significant underlying issues in Schenectady County. The Foundation has taken a leadership position to organize a broad coalition of providers, community stakeholders and government agencies to develop a more comprehensive strategy to directly address food insecurity, but also to create a more sustainable food system that diminishes the need for emergency food sources.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Weekend Backpack Partnership

The Weekend Backpack Partnership was launched in 2014 as a response to the growing hunger and nutrition needs of elementary school children in the City of Schenectady. The program provides a reliable source of nutritious food for children to take home with them every Friday.

In 2017, based on requests from other school districts, the Partnership expanded its services to children in Duanesburg, Mohonasen, Schalmont, and Scotia-Glenville. We are now reaching more than 1200 children and families throughout Schenectady County.

Population(s) Served
Non-adult children

The Foundation's Call to Action (CTA) for Schenectady’s Youth is mobilizing a community-wide effort to support the success of Schenectady’s underserved young people. Too many of our children and teens are growing up hindered by the inequities and trauma imposed by poverty and racism. The impact of these obstacles is reflected by a host of factors, such as limited education and employment, teen pregnancy and involvement in the criminal justice system. Yet, we also see young people who, despite significant barriers, succeed with the right guidance, support and influence from caring adults.

The Call to Action is gaining momentum. Since its launch in the summer of 2015, the Foundation has invested $1.8 million, in 22 programs, to improve and sustain outstanding youth programs.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth

Schenectady Bridges is an on-going, multi-sector initiative to help individuals, families and communities build bridges out of poverty to more sustainable lives.

Through this program more than 3,000 people have been trained in Bridges constructs, helping participants view the world through the lens of those who come from under-resourced backgrounds. This helps us to identify and diminish barriers that impede the movement of people from under-resourced to sustainable lives.

The initiative builds bridges from despondency and disengagement to individual, family and community leadership. Specific outcomes of this movement include formerly unemployed or underemployed individuals gaining the opportunity to build sustainable careers, healthier lives, community leaders will emerging from the indigenous population, neighborhoods improving, and families growing stronger together.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Schenectady's Thriving Neighborhoods Challenge is driven by the belief in the power and voice of the citizens of Schenectady, in their ability to make change in their own communities.

The Challenge is a grant opportunity open to all residents and all neighborhoods in the city- if you have an idea, we are ready to hear it. Participation in the Challenge begins with the conception of an idea to affect change in the community. Concerned residents propose their project ideas through the Foundation’s website, including relevant details such as project location, issue to be addressed, activities to be undertaken, and eventual outcomes to be achieved.

The Schenectady Foundation has come together with local foundations, philanthropists, the City of Schenectady and other change-makers to fund the Challenge. To-date investors in the Challenge include: The Schenectady Foundation, City of Schenectady’s CDBG program, Wright Family Foundation, the Carlilian Foundation, Neil & Jane Golub, MVP Health Care and Trustco Bank.

Population(s) Served

Our scholarships include the Erbacher Teaching Scholarship worth $10,000, and the Schenectady STEM Scholarship worth $5,000. Information on requirements and applications can be found on our website.

Population(s) Served

Impact Statement: Increase food security, ensuring that all residents of the County have regular access to fresh, healthy food to nourish themselves and their families.

A once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, surging unemployment and lengthy school closures all added up to a crisis the likes of which we’d never before seen. The Schenectady Foundation along with non-profit and government partners sprang into action, and distributed food and other vital household items to address residents’ critical needs. More than two and half years later the emergency has subsided, but the need persists.

Here’s what we will do going forward over the next few years.
• Establish a Schenectady County Food Policy Council focused on having our food system working better together.
• Assess the level of food security, and continually work to remove barriers to accessing healthy and culturally appropriate food.
• Work toward a more equitable system for food justice.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people
At-risk youth

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

The Schenectady Foundation, Inc. 2010

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total dollar amount of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Health, Social and economic status, Work status and occupations, Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

We seek to impact the issues most critical to the City and County of Schenectady, NY. Current focus is on revitalizing neighborhoods, food security and resident engagement.

Total number of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth, Social and economic status, Work status and occupations, Families

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Once a grant is submitted, our team reviews it and meets with the grantees before bringing it to the Board for approval. The process is tough, but ensures high quality ideas make it to the boardroom.

Total dollars received in contributions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth, Work status and occupations, Social and economic status

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success


Context Notes

The Foundation is supported in part by contributions and support from the community we serve. Donors know any gifts they make go right back to the community.

Total dollar amount of scholarships awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served


Related Program


Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Students seeking higher education may apply for our selection of scholarships. We pick a set number from a group of talented individuals, and provide financial support through college.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The primary goals of the Foundation in 2022 were:

1. Implement our strategy for investing funds in innovative projects that substantively address the need for regular access to healthy food;
2. Gather a coalition of stakeholders to review the County's 2017 Healthy and Equitable Food Action Plan, and to take steps to address gaps in implementation of the plan, including formation of a Food Policy Council;
3. Engage community members and build resident leadership;
4. Maintain the connections and trust built during the 2020 pandemic response effort, to crystallize the "One Schenectady" community culture: a multi-sector effort to support the most effective and sustainable solutions to needs as they arise.
5. Continue to invest in Schenectady neighborhoods, utilizing the input and guidance of residents for every project and initiative that we support.

Catalyst. The Foundation is an investor and partner in projects with the potential to move the needle on our community’s most difficult issues, such as food insecurity, neighborhood blight, and disconnected youth. As a grant-maker, the Foundation puts money and resources where they are most needed.

Convener. As a leader of our charitable sector, we convene and facilitate -- gathering together organizations and people with similar missions to achieve as a group what none could do alone. Because the Foundation does not favor any one group over others and is only concerned with achieving the best outcomes for the community, no other organization is as well-positioned to play this role.

Custodian. We are a steward of the resources entrusted to the Foundation. Gifts to the endowment are invested for the long-term by experienced Trustee banks. We are careful to preserve and grow the endowment, even as we re-invest funds back into the community each year.

Distribution Committee. Community leaders serve on the Foundation's Distribution Committee, ensuring that funding goes to address effective programs and community priorities. The Distribution Committee also evaluates the investment performance of the Trustee Banks and is responsible for the broader governance needs of the Foundation such as audit, finance, and transparency.

Trustee Banks. Banks with trust powers in Schenectady County are eligible to serve as Trustees of the Foundation. The Trustees manage and invest funds, generate income for the charitable purposes of the Foundation, and perform fiscal oversight responsibilities. Our current Trustees include Trustco Bank, Key Bank, and Saratoga National Bank.

Appointing Authority. The Appointing Authority is responsible for appointing a majority of the members of the Distribution Committee, ensuring that the Committee is responsive to and reflective of the community. Appointing Authority members are the president of Union College, board officers of the Chamber of Commerce and the United Way, and the president of Schenectady County Community College.

The Schenectady Foundation, Inc. A supporting organization, The Schenectady Foundation, Inc. was formed in 2009 to serve as the operating arm of the Foundation, and carries out the day to day responsibilities of the Foundation. These include community outreach, program development, grant oversight, marketing, and fundraising.

In just the past few years, our organization has made great progress with our initiatives. Last year, our Weekend Backpack Partnership served over 1,000 children and delivered more than 350,000 lbs of food. Since launching Call to Action in 2015, we have invested $1.8 million in 22 programs in Schenectady County to help our youth overcome barriers of poverty and racism and lead successful lives. Our STEM Alliance initiative recently released STEM Xplor, a free application designed to connect users with great STEM programs in their area. Our Schenectady Bridges initiative pledged over $1 million to a 3-year Transformational Grant, bringing together organizations from every sector of our community to aid almost 4,000 citizens in bridging out of poverty and into more comfortable, sustainable lifestyles. Last, our Thriving Neighborhoods Challenge saw the pledging of $225,000 to the successful rebuilding of Craig St. in Hamilton Hill, $150,000 to the development of library branches, and $100,000 for the construction of splash pads and trails on Eastern Avenue.
We continue to review grants for the Neighborhood Challenge, finding new community needs and beginning processes of connecting resources, citizens, and organizations.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time


The Schenectady Foundation
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31
Financial documents
2022 2022 Audited Consolidated Financial Statement 2019 2019 Audited Financial Statements
done  Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant. info

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 0.80 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 6 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 0% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

The Schenectady Foundation

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

The Schenectady Foundation

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

The Schenectady Foundation

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of The Schenectady Foundation’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation -$2,512,231 $6,264,882 $5,040,012 $5,322,063 -$9,810,932
As % of expenses -148.9% 480.5% 278.1% 226.6% -405.6%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation -$2,512,231 $6,264,882 $5,040,012 $5,322,063 -$9,810,932
As % of expenses -148.9% 480.5% 278.1% 226.6% -405.6%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $1,913,729 $2,031,752 $2,292,776 $5,442,270 $1,792,002
Total revenue, % change over prior year -40.7% 6.2% 12.8% 137.4% -67.1%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 60.6% 61.5% 58.7% 33.1% 68.9%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 4.0% 22.9% 28.4% 23.7% 24.5%
Other revenue 35.5% 15.7% 12.9% 43.2% 6.7%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $1,687,104 $1,303,873 $1,812,211 $2,348,958 $2,418,619
Total expenses, % change over prior year 15.8% -22.7% 39.0% 29.6% 3.0%
Personnel 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Professional fees 7.0% 7.5% 9.9% 9.4% 10.8%
Occupancy 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 64.4% 51.5% 53.7% 65.1% 56.6%
All other expenses 28.6% 41.0% 36.4% 25.5% 32.6%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $1,687,104 $1,303,873 $1,812,211 $2,348,958 $2,418,619
One month of savings $140,592 $108,656 $151,018 $195,747 $201,552
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $1,827,696 $1,412,529 $1,963,229 $2,544,705 $2,620,171

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 5.8 10.8 7.8 11.7 8.8
Months of cash and investments 232.7 357.6 289.5 256.3 203.4
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 219.7 341.9 279.4 242.7 187.1
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $821,118 $1,175,394 $1,177,571 $2,287,618 $1,773,742
Investments $31,895,358 $37,681,796 $42,547,201 $47,876,940 $39,222,393
Receivables $1,367,730 $1,496,544 $1,739,460 $1,799,705 $1,514,984
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 3.2% 2.0% 1.1% 2.1% 4.1%
Unrestricted net assets $30,888,333 $37,153,215 $42,193,227 $47,515,290 $37,704,358
Temporarily restricted net assets $1,121,263 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $3,941,545 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $5,062,808 $5,426,393 $5,863,255 $6,508,823 $6,241,486
Total net assets $35,951,141 $42,579,608 $48,056,482 $54,024,113 $43,945,844

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Letter of Determination is not available for this organization
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Mr. Robert A. Carreau

Robert is responsible for driving the Foundation's strategic initiatives and community impact, working with donors and gift advisors and developing strategic relationships with community stakeholders. While his formal title may be "Executive Director", he sees his role as being our "Chief Catalyst". He has been involved with the Foundation since 1992 as its Secretary and was appointed Executive Director in 2010. With 30 years' experience in the charitable sector, his work has included strategic consulting with foundations and corporations to focus their work on achieving outcomes. Mr. Carreau's volunteerism has included service as a trustee of the Carlilian Foundation and on the board of the Empire State Youth Orchestras. Prior to his work with the Foundation, Carreau led the United Way of Schenectady County as its CEO. He earned a master's degree in Political Communications from the State University at Albany.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

The Schenectady Foundation

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

The Schenectady Foundation

Board of directors
as of 10/17/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Omayra Padilla-DeJesus

Omayra Padilla DeJesus

Jennifer Kenneally

Pneuma Advisors

Michael Ozimek

Trustco Bank

Johan Matthews

Mutual Design

Mona Golub

Price Chopper Market 32

Pamela Pearlman


Raysheea Turner

Turner Wallace Law

Alfred Tompkins

Schenectady City School District

Kimberly Kilby

Kilby Creative Works

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Not applicable
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/11/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/11/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.