What is a Community Foundation?
Community foundations make up one of the fastest growing sectors of philanthropy in our country today. Community foundations build and strengthen communities by making it possible for a wide range of donors to participate in creating permanent (and often named) funds to meet present and future needs. Community foundations are catalysts for improvement through philanthropy that is visionary, diverse and inclusive. We are a sustainable aspect of philanthropy – providing leadership and problem solving in the present and preparing for the future with a permanent endowment.
What is the history of the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge?
- We were founded in 1992 as the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro (SAW) Community Foundation. In recent years, our geographic area of coverage has expanded to include Nelson and Highland Counties as well.
- We are a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with a permanent endowment to serve our community.
- We offer more than 80 funds and hold nearly $10 million in assets.
- The Community Foundation is able give more than $400,000 annually in awards, grants and scholarships.
How do we reach out to the community?
- Board members and staff speak to community groups, service clubs and municipal organizations.
- The annual Dawbarn Awards, Smyth Awards, and other grant awards events provide opportunities for the public to learn more about philanthropy in general and the work of the Foundation in particular.
- Special communications and events keep former and current board members up to date about the growth and development of the Foundation, for which they act as advocates.
- The Youth Philanthropy Council develops leadership skills by assessing community youth needs, and funding programs to meet these needs.
- Professional Advisor Seminars are hosted by the Foundation to share information of interest to advisors and of use to their clients. Topics are relevant to philanthropy and may include wills and estates, income tax, life insurance, financial advising, financial planning, and philanthropy.
- Workshops and seminars of topical interest for nonprofit organization staff and board members elevate the awareness of The Community Foundation as a resource in strengthening nonprofit capacity.