Our Purpose

Building a vibrant and prosperous community through philanthropy.

Our Guiding Principles 

  • Encourage bold vision and action
  • Share the power and impact of philanthropy with a wider audience of different cultures, religions, races and backgrounds
  • Convene and connect stakeholders
  • Identify and address regional challenges and opportunities

Our Working Culture

  • Maintain the highest standard of professional and ethical behavior
  • Strive for transparency, credibility, trust, respect and honest feedback in our relationships
  • Seek to be innovative and adaptive in our approach
  • Listen to and include individuals that are representative of our region
  • Be mindful of our history, both successes and failures, yet ambitious in pursuing new opportunities

The Community Foundation’s strategic priorities run in three year cycles and guide our competitive grant making process. Our priority areas also guide the Foundation’s community leadership efforts and resources. Our current 2022-2024 cycle will be focused in the two areas below.

Though the Community Foundation’s competitive grant making is guided by our priority areas, we hold several hundreds of grant making funds and award millions of dollars in grants in total each year. Grants are made in all different sizes and cover a wide variety of focus areas in addition to the priority areas, based on what our donors are passionate about. Therefore, if your program, project or need does not fit a priority area below, please visit the grants page for more opportunities.

Our Strategic Priorities

During this next three-year cycle the Foundation will continue to focus its discretionary and competitive financial and organizational resources in two areas:

  1. Community & Economic Growth and Prosperity
    • Placemaking
      • Our downtowns – their vitality and continued revitalization
      • Waterfront development and utilization
      • Large Connected Trailway Systems
    • Economic Development
      • Entrepreneurism
      • Small Business
      • Mission (aka “Impact”) Investing; true profit-making investments within our region
    • Community Investment
      • Nonprofit capacity building
      • Investments in childcare-center expansions, additional facilities and operations
  2. College, Career and Life Success
    • Pathways to career exploration and preparation for lifetime success
    • Engaging and supporting nontraditional and at-risk students through post-secondary education
    • Hands-on learning and training such as robotics, skilled trades, workshops, tech labs

Other Areas of Interest

The Foundation manages hundreds of endowed fund and works with 1,000+ annual donors who have a wide and diverse range of interest areas. The majority of the Foundation’s assets have pre-determined goals, objectives and focus areas.

We will always strive to help our donors achieve their individual goals and objectives. Traditionally, these areas of support have included:

  • Early childhood issues and challenges
  • Basic needs for disadvantaged members of our community
  • Support for arts and culture initiatives and growth
  • Programs, projects and initiatives targeting an entire family to help them become self-sufficient and be able to contribute to our region’s growth and prosperity

In addition to making outright grants, the Foundation is currently engaged in these key programs.