Early History of the Foundation

Early History of the Foundation

SI Foundation

The Staten Island Foundation, previously named SI Bank & Trust Foundation, and initially SISB Community Foundation, was created in December 1997 by the former Staten Island Savings Bank’s Board of Directors and Chairman Harry P. Doherty, with the approval of the Bank’s depositors, when the Bank converted to a public company. From the beginning, the Foundation’s express mission was to improve the quality of life in Staten Island.

In its first year, the Board established the following funding priorities:

  • Education (target of 40% of giving)
  • Human Services, including health, youth development and housing (target of 40% of giving)
  • Arts and Culture (target of 20% of giving)

Over the course of its history, The Staten Island Foundation has supported a varied and wide-ranging array of projects. The Foundation has contributed to local projects of national prominence as well as to programs serving schools, faith-based groups, community centers, and community programs serving the physically disabled, developmentally disabled, abandoned, abused, neglected, poor and homeless populations and individuals. In its giving, the Foundation has reached the full range of faiths, cultures, age, and racial and ethnic groups.

While much of the Foundation’s early funding went to capital projects involving new construction, renovations, expansions and technology purchases, the Foundation also funded requests for general operating support, special programs, and multi-year grant commitments. Increasingly, the Foundation has sought to fund outcomes based projects and programs and to build the “capacity” of its non-profit grantees – providing funds for leadership development, technical assistance or management consulting.

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