Adirondack Foundation awarded prestigious Trust for Civic Life grant

Funding comes from new cross-ideological venture focused on rural America

Monday, July 1, 2024


LAKE PLACID — A new philanthropic initiative aimed at improving civic engagement in communities across the U.S. has awarded $400,000 to the Adirondack region’s community foundation.

Adirondack Foundation was among the first organizations to receive a grant from the newly established Trust for Civic Life, part of an $8 million investment in strengthening communities across rural America. The grant will support Adirondack Foundation over the next three years as it works to bring people together and help residents solve important problems in their communities.

“Adirondack Foundation was created to be a forever source of philanthropic capital for our region,” said Cali Brooks, the Foundation’s president and CEO. “For more than 25 years, we have worked in close partnership with nonprofits, local government, schools, generous neighbors and others — always adapting to address the most pressing needs and issues facing our region. We are thrilled to be recognized by the Trust for Civic Life with this generous grant, which is a great honor.”

Adirondack Foundation will use the funding to take concrete steps to build shared understandings and identify the work needed to help forge a brighter future together for everyone, including: 

  • Work with neighbors and partners to build economic opportunity action plans and move into a future in which our children can see a pathway to a future “at home.” 
  • Develop in-person and digital opportunities to connect, understand and move forward together.
  • Replace lost connections, increase social connection and rejuvenate volunteerism.
  • Promote a sense of opportunity while addressing the realities of life in the Adirondack region.
  • Host more community conversations to help refine grantmaking to build civic infrastructure that meets the diverse needs of the Adirondacks. 

“For the next few months, we are going to listen to different members of our community and develop next steps for how we will use this incredible unrestricted gift,” said Lori Bellingham, Adirondack Foundation’s vice president of community impact. “Together, we hope to be able to articulate concerns about the changes the past few decades have brought to our communities and how they have impacted our way of life.”

The Trust for Civic Life’s first grants support “civic hubs,” groups like Adirondack Foundation that are investing in local civic programs and initiatives to meet the changing needs of their communities at a time when Americans are pulling away from traditional civic life. The Trust’s new grantees are responding with an entrepreneurial spirit to encourage civic participation and help people with different viewpoints and backgrounds work together. 

“Our new grantees are critical connectors and problem solvers in their communities,” said Charlie Brown, executive director of Trust for Civic Life. “They are helping neighbors find common ground, solve local problems and improve the community for everyone in it. Community-led work is transforming American life for the better, and the Trust for Civic Life is proud to support its momentum with these new grants.”

The Trust for Civic Life was initiated by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Stand Together and Omidyar Network, and it has grown to include over a dozen philanthropists and foundations. The  Trust’s first round of grants will support groups in rural areas, which are traditionally overlooked by national philanthropy. Despite accounting for 20% of U.S. residents and the vast majority of the nation's land, rural regions receive only 7% of U.S. philanthropic dollars every year.

To learn more about the Trust for Civic Life, visit or contact Christina Jodice at

For more information about Adirondack Foundation, contact Cali Brooks at (518) 523-9904 or [email protected].