CEO of Central New York Community Foundation to Lead Efforts in Worcester to Strengthen Nonprofits and Promote Philanthropy in the Region

(Worcester, MA – March 29, 2023) The Greater Worcester Community Foundation is proud to announce that Peter Dunn has been selected as its new President and CEO, effective August 1, 2023. Dunn will succeed Tim Johnstone, who has served in an interim CEO role since September, 2022.

Dunn is a nationally-respected leader in the philanthropic sector. He has been the CEO of the Central New York Community Foundation (CNYCF) in Syracuse for 15 years, and in January announced his planned departure at the end of June. During his tenure, he led several innovative initiatives and spearheaded transformative partnerships with community organizations, donors and stakeholders.

Under his leadership, CNYCF’s assets nearly quadrupled from $110 million to $399 million, with the organization’s annual grantmaking increasing from $5.2 million in 2008 to $18.1 million in 2022. Over the past 15 years, CNYCF has distributed more than $200 million in grants to support a range of community initiatives, including education, healthcare and the arts.

During his time, Dunn worked closely with local nonprofits to strengthen their capacity and sustainability, building a network of partners dedicated to improving the quality of life for all residents of Central New York. Over the past several years, initiatives such as utilizing community data to allocate resources and measure change, new charitable giving strategies and processes to engage new generations of donors, and stronger support systems for nonprofits through grantmaking and organizational development have all changed the philanthropic landscape of the region.

Prioritizing equity and inclusivity, Dunn and his leadership team worked in collaboration with historically excluded and marginalized communities to increase critical support and resources while trying to tackle complex social issues, such as poverty and healthcare literacy. Under Dunn’s leadership, CNYCF became a catalyst for collaboration and innovation in the Central New York area by bringing together stakeholders from across sectors to develop coordinated solutions. Under Dunn’s leadership, CNYCF launched and supported notable local initiatives, including Say Yes Syracuse, one of the nation’s only fully endowed scholarship promise programs; the Black Equity & Excellence Fund, to support local Black-led and serving nonprofits and programs; and, the LeadSafeCNY initiative, to address the childhood lead poisoning crisis in Syracuse.

"Peter's extensive experience in community leadership and philanthropy will help us continue to advance our mission in Worcester, and all of Central Massachusetts,” said J. Christopher Collins, Chair of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation Board. “His expertise, his vision, and his passion for serving with, and for, others to improve communities will help build on our legacy of impact and create a brighter future for Worcester. I also want to express my gratitude for the exceptional leadership provided by Tim Johnstone during the past year. ”

As the CEO of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Dunn will lead the Foundation's efforts to promote philanthropy, strengthen nonprofits, and improve the quality of life for the people of Worcester and all of Central Massachusetts. He will work closely with the Board of Directors, staff, donors and community partners to develop and implement strategies that advance the Foundation's vision and goals.

"I am proud to be part of an organization with such a longstanding history of impact in the Greater Worcester area,” said Dunn. “The Foundation's commitment to promoting philanthropy and supporting nonprofits is critical to building a strong and vibrant community. I look forward to working with the board, staff and community partners to build on the Foundation's legacy of impact and develop innovative solutions that address the evolving needs of the Greater Worcester area. Our collective efforts will help ensure that everyone in the community has access to the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.”

With his extensive experience and proven track record of success, Dunn is well-positioned to lead the Greater Worcester Community Foundation into a new era of growth and impact. Before joining CNYCF, Dunn was vice president, philanthropic services and chief development officer at the California Community Foundation in Los Angeles, one of the nation’s largest community foundations. He is currently a member of the Community Foundations National Standards Board. A native of Buffalo, Dunn received his undergraduate degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame and a Juris Doctor degree from the University at Buffalo School of Law. Peter and his wife Brigid have two college-age daughters and look forward to being part of the Central Massachusetts community.