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Community foundations are a purely American invention that began in 1914, a mere 40 miles to our north in Cleveland, Ohio. Local banker Frederick Goff pooled the charitable resources of his community's philanthropists to create a permanent endowment for the betterment of the city, and thus the first community foundation was born. Over a century later, it is a worldwide movement that has transformed the face of philanthropy. There are hundreds of community foundations across the country, with dozens in Ohio alone.

Community foundations are unique compared to other foundations you may be familiar with, like private foundations. Community foundations are 501(c)(3) nonprofits, meaning we derive support from the community at large rather than a select few donors. Like other foundations, we're known for distributing grants to causes big and small for the betterment of our community. We're truly a foundation by the people, for the people.

Read more about the community foundation model of philanthropy and how we're transforming lives across the nation by visiting the Community Foundation Awareness Initiative.


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