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Board explores revenue options

A town fund, said Csaposs, could be based on the community models in Voorheesville or Niskayuna.

The Niskayuna Community Fund operates under the supervision of the Community Foundation for the Capital Region (CFCR), an organization that acts as a surrogate for numerous foundations across the region.

Kristen Frederick, president of the CFCR, said that the Niskayuna fund consists of a board of directors and is completely volunteer run.

"They operate under the principles that the Community Foundation for the Capital Region have adopted," said Frederick, referring to the National Standards of Excellence.

"(Niskayuna does) the fundraising, and everything goes to the community foundation," said Jackie Mahoney, CFCR's director of grant-making. Mahoney said that then funds are distributed through grant rounds every year. Grants are broke up into two different groups, which Mahoney called mini-grants, up to $1,000, and then larger grants, the maximum of which are $5,000. Each grant application is reviewed by a five-person committee.

"The organizations have to serve the residents of Niskayuna or be located in Niskayuna," said Mahoney.

The section of the report detailing the formation of a school foundation provides instances in which school foundations have been formed and been successful including districts in Orange County, Fla.; Needham, Mass.; West Hartford, Conn.; and Brewster, Mass.

The CFCR said it also helps with two or three school foundations locally, which have been very successful in their endeavors.

According to the report that was submitted to the board, the subcommittee exploring foundations was not in total agreement to support either a community or school foundation.

The report indicated that the group felt strongly about the concept, that is, a plan should be developed to start a foundation of some kind.

The report stated that further exploration is needed, including focus groups with district residents and community leaders to determine the next step.

"From the research that we did and the presentation that we heard, you just don't jump into this," said Hy Dubowsky, board member and committee chairman.""

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