Written by Kayla Logar ’20
This summer, I am conducting research with the Adirondack Foundation on the different forms of funding for Adirondack-area nonprofits in order to help the foundation better understand where gaps and overlaps exist. There are myriad nonprofit organizations in the Adirondack Park, ranging from those that protect the beautiful environmental resources of the region so that they may flourish, to those that promote the cultivation of arts and culture. One common denominator among every nonprofit that I have encountered is the wealth of passion driving those who lead the organizations.
As a community foundation, the Adirondack Foundation works directly with both donors and nonprofit organizations to thoughtfully distribute donations from generous members of the community to nonprofit organizations through grantmaking to support the causes about which donors are most passionate. The foundation also leads a coalition of other funders such as private foundations that support Adirondack nonprofits. I am gathering information from these nonprofits that will help inform the funders about how they can contribute most effectively in the Adirondack region. Several factors play important roles in this research, including geographic areas, program areas, and funding types.
I am collecting data from these organizations with an online survey and through phone and in-person interviews. Once all of this data is collected, I will analyze it for trends and correlations in order to form a presentation of the information that will be most beneficial for the funders to know. In the first few weeks, I have already gained a wealth of knowledge about nonprofit organizations, finance, and helping people. As a mathematics and economics double major, I have gained insight into how economics concepts may be applied to work towards positive change. In addition, my work has allowed me to talk to many local nonprofit leaders about their various causes. The biggest thing that I have taken away from this experience thus far is the importance of cultivating my passion and channeling it to do something good. I am incredibly fortunate to have this opportunity and cannot wait to see what the rest of the summer in the Adirondacks has in store.