A basic function of Community Foundations is promoting and facilitating philanthropy. Philanthropy, commonly defined as “private initiatives for the public good that focus on quality of life,” is the process whereby people can express themselves by assisting others. Memorialize a person or build a park. It’s up to you. We can help. Encouraging, and helping to establish, mutually beneficial connections is fundamental to the Foundation’s goal of building community through collaborative action.

Our interest in collaboration and community-building relates to the difference between “charity” and “philanthropy.” Charity provides short-term relief while an investment in philanthropy works long-term. Charity may relieve a problem; philanthropy seeks to resolve it. This recalls the difference between giving a fish—charity, and teaching to fish—philanthropy. It is finding ways to help people help themselves. We would like to assist you in taking the opportunity to do more than make a gift, but rather to help a person or group or cause to make better lives, to make a more enlightened and fulfilling community.

Should you chose, we invite you to express your philanthropic goals in terms that align with our philosophy and that of Community Foundations across America:

Create a better future for all.

A community foundation’s constituency is the entire community. Every issue and cause embraced has some connection to the greater good, while being mindful of how race, class, culture and power influence and affect decisions.

Act as Community partners.

They work in concert with other community members taking the lead, following, or paving the way for new leaders.

Pursue the greatest opportunities and address the most critical challenges.

Community foundations can be counted on to pursue the things that matter the most, despite challenges or difficulties.

Unite a community’s people, institutions, and resources inclusively.

Community foundations conduct their business in the open ensuring broad participation. They are well-suited to assemble and leverage resources.

Produce significant, widely shared and lasting results.

Community foundations look beyond quick fixes and innovative pilot projects. They have the staying power to reach long-term results.