The McCarthy Charities, a private family foundation dedicated to improving the quality of life in Rensselaer County, recently celebrated 100 years of grantmaking and community support.
“Our family is incredibly privileged to have the opportunity to participate in philanthropy at such a high level,” said Lucy McCarthy, President of the McCarthy Charities Board. “We have a chance to change the world. It is both our honor and our obligation to do so. In times of conflict and need, we can pull together to try and change the world, starting right here in Rensselaer County.”
In the last five years, the McCarthy Charities has given approximately $2.5 million to support Rensselaer County’s nonprofit organizations and those they serve. The McCarthy Charities’ grantmaking primarily supports programs and services focused on education, social services and housing, particularly in the Catholic community.
Beginning in 2015, the McCarthy Charities began working with the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region for grant administration. The McCarthy Charities board makes all grantmaking decisions, with the Community Foundation staff handling all paperwork and regulatory requirements.
“The Community Foundation works with a number of private and family foundations to facilitate their grantmaking,” said John G. Eberle, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “Soliciting, evaluating and administering grants is no small task. By working with the Community Foundation’s staff, the McCarthy Charities is able to focus on their philanthropic goals without being slowed down by administrative work. Plus, the McCarthy Charities benefits from our staff’s deep knowledge and expertise around the region’s nonprofit organizations and issues. We congratulate the McCarthy family and the McCarthy Charities on a century of philanthropy and building such an incredible charitable legacy.”
In 2015, the Charities awarded 42 grants through the Community Foundation, including awards supporting:
- Summer program support for the Arts Center of the Capital Region
- Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar’s Enhancing College Readiness and Support program at Troy High School
- Hudson Valley Community College Foundation’s Second Chance Scholarship program
- Joseph’s House & Shelter’s Emergency Shelter
- The Empowering through Literacy: Basic Literacy and English Language Learners program from Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County
- Troy Savings Bank Music Hall’s Music at the Hall for the 2015-2016 season
- Ongoing support for building improvements at Sacred Heart Parish and operating support for Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center’s Troy Health Center
- YWCA of the Greater Capital Region’s Ready for School program
- Mini-grants for the City of Troy’s Flag Day Parade and the Victorian Stroll (through the Van Rensselaer Fund)
In addition to awarding individual grants to organizations, the McCarthy Charities have made significant multi-year gifts to many organizations in Rensselaer County, including Hudson Valley Community College, Samaritan Hospital, Capital Roots, and Capital Repertory Theatre.
The McCarthy Charities also endows the McCarthy Scholarship at Siena College. The scholarships are awarded annually to students from Rensselaer County who demonstrate high moral and ethical standards. Selection is based on financial need and academic achievement.
“Philanthropy is an optimistic pursuit,” said Denis McCarthy, Vice President. “We believe we can have a positive impact on the lives of others and on society as a whole. We are willing to dedicate our time and energy toward achieving those goals. We have found our family values in these shared goals for more than five generations.”
The McCarthy Charities board is composed entirely of descendants of Peter McCarthy. The McCarthy Charities thanks their exceptional board members:
- President: Lucy McCarthy
- Vice Presidents: Chris Connally, Denis McCarthy, Pamela McCarthy, and Winifred McCarthy
- Secretary: Rosanne McCarthy Lobitz
- Treasurer: Robert McCarthy
- Additional Directors: Marion McCarthy Sheridan, Brenden McCarthy, Bridget McCarthy, Laura McCarthy, J. Haley Rasmussen, and Kate Sheridan