18 November 2019

Commissioners proclaim National Community Foundation Week

Pictured (l. to r.): Kathy Saesan, Commissioner Dave Coder, An'Etta Neff, Commissioner Archie Trader, Bettie Stammerjohn, Beth Hellems, Commissioner Blair Zimmerman and Jeff McCracken.
Greene County Commissioners recently issued a proclamation recognizing the month of Nov. 12-18, 2019 as National Community Foundation Week.

The proclamation was presented to representatives of the Community Foundation of Greene County (CFGC) during the Commissioners’ agenda meeting on Nov. 13.

The proclamation states that “for more than 19 years, (CFGC) has made it possible for Greene County citizens, businesses and organizations to create permanent philanthropic resources for the current and future needs of our communities from basic human needs to creating innovative solutions that transform our boroughs and townships.”  

The proclamation also states that “(CFGC) provides the opportunity for individuals from all walks of life to be philanthropists in small, medium and large ways,” and that CFGC “provides beneficial grants to our community, supports critical community causes and efforts, strengthens the nonprofits in our region and makes our community stronger.”

In attendance at the meeting to accept the proclamation were Bettie Stammerjohn, CFGC Executive Director; An'Etta Neff, CFGC Administrative Assistant; Jeff McCracken, Chairman, CFGC Board of Directors; and Kathy Saesan and Beth Hellems, CFGC board members.

CFGC is a private, nonprofit charitable organization that is governed by a 15-member board of directors. The Foundation’s mission is “to strengthen Greene County by empowering individuals of all backgrounds to support charitable causes for generations to come and provide leadership to address community needs,” according to Stammerjohn. 

Incorporated in December 2000, CFGC’s first grants were made in 2002, and since then the Foundation has distributed more than $3.3 million in grants and scholarships. 

Currently, CFGC has more than 90 total funds, of which more than 70 are permanent endowments, while the remaining are restricted/non-endowed funds. The funds also include 26 total scholarships, with two more in the works.

As of July 2019, CFGC had total assets of $5.5 million, of which $4.6 million were endowments.

Stammerjohn explained that the endowments are established by donors of varying capacities – some with outright gifts, some gave over a period of time, and some gave through their bequest. 

“The endowed funds are invested and a portion of the income is distributed as grants for the charitable purposes as designated by the donors in their fund agreement, while maintaining the principal over the long term,” she said. 

“Because of this process, the funds will be able to make grants in perpetuity – building legacies for the donors who typically honor a loved one through their fund.”

Some funds are not endowed, she added, which means the grants/distributions can be made from the full donation – sometimes all at once, sometimes over a period of years. 

In fact, some donors continue to contribute to keep them going,” she said.

MacCracken and Stammerjohn thanked the Commissioners for the proclamation and for acknowledging the Foundation and the National Community Foundation Week initiative.

Commissioners commended CFGC for its efforts in helping the local communities.   

“One of the greatest ways to ensure a strong community, economic vitality, educational success and effective community leadership is through the active presence of a community foundation – such as ours in Greene County – that allows for community-based endowments,” said Commissioner Blair Zimmerman. 

“CFGC provides beneficial grants that help make our communities stronger, and we thank the Foundation for all that they do,” said Commissioner Dave Coder.

Commissioner Archie Trader added that “it is critical to recognize the value and impact of our Community Foundation on a local level, for the investment, partnership and leadership they create across our county.”

Commissioners said that in proclaiming Nov. 12-18, 2019 as National Community Foundation Week in Greene County, they “encourage all citizens to recognize and support the impact that the Community Foundations, their volunteers and donors have in their community.” 

More information about Community Foundation of Greene County can be obtained by visiting the website, www.cfgcpa.org, or by calling the CFGC office at 724-627-2010.