A community foundation is a vehicle for people of all means to make a lasting difference in their community. The central purpose of a community foundation is to serve the needs and philanthropic aims of donors who wish to better their community, now and in the future. Community foundations do this by providing donors with flexible, efficient, and tax-effective ways to ensure their charitable giving achieves the greatest possible impact. The concept of a community foundation is to provide a means to build, over time, a substantial endowment (see endowment tab) of funds for a community through contributions large and small. Because these contributions are endowed, they are never spent. Instead, they are permanently invested to produce income. The income earned is then used to help meet the community’s charitable needs – from social work to education and culture. Gifts to a community foundation continue to benefit the community forever. This is a philanthropy in its broadest sense.
Other general information about a community foundation – A community foundation does not usually conduct programs of its own. Rather, it supports new or existing programs of other 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations and agencies. The community foundations principal function remains that of serving donors and their community by building permanent endowed funds for philanthropic purposes. Donors may set up individual funds, in their name or the names of loved ones or institutions, and have essentially as little or as much control as they wish in determining which charities or causes benefit from their contribution/endowment. Donors may choose to contribute to a variety of existing funds, set up to serve particular purposes. Each community foundation also has a general endowment fund, the income from which is distributed by the community foundation’s board of directors to address needs and opportunities in the community as they change over time. Our general endowment fund is called the Adams County Community Foundation Fund and was created in 2019 with a gift of $100,000 by an Adams County couple. Donors may contribute directly to this fund. As the fund increases, charitable distributions for the benefit of Adams County also increase.
Ohio is the birthplace of the community foundation. In 1914 a Cleveland attorney, Frederick Goff, envisioned a single entity that could steward the charitable wishes of many different citizens for a community’s perpetual benefit. His vision was compelling and took hold. Today there are over 800 community foundations in the US and over 60 community foundations in Ohio.
Adams County now has its own community foundation and is proud to partner with the Scioto Foundation!