In 1999, a group of area citizens, organized and inspired by the vision
of Warren B. French, Jr., formed the Shenandoah Community Foundation,
using a model started in 1914 with the Cleveland Foundation. The model
was perpetuated when the Department of the Treasury recognized this
type of organization and granted community foundations the unique
advantage of being able to treat multiple endowments as part of a
single institution. Each sub-entity is known as a “component fund,” and
no matter how many there are in a community foundation, it only files
one tax return.
The concept was based on the conviction that no one knows
needs as well as local people, and in the spirit of the old adage
“Charity begins at home,” community foundations make it easier for
local donors to keep their charitable dollars working in their own
communities, even after their own lifetime.
The Shenandoah Community Foundation is not about being just
another local charity. It’s about being a catalyst, a facilitator, and
a vehicle through which donors of all kinds can put their money to work
on behalf of those organizations WHO DO the work of serving this
community. This philosophy is the basis for our motto: Connecting People Who Care with
Causes that Matter.
The idea behind our foundation is simple: no one knows what
needs of our community will be in 20, 50 or 100 years, yet we do know
that tomorrow’s local leaders will inevitably face a world with new
challenges. If our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will
be able to solve local problems with local solutions, they will need
the local resources to do so.
The Foundation hopes to go far beyond just the disbursement
grants to worthwhile charities and programs. We want to help area
non-profits learn how to leverage their own resources more effectively.
We see our work as philanthropy educators, teaching donors how to
achieve that balance of helping others and helping themselves at the
same time. Most of all, we see the Foundation as the ultimate
matchmaker – connecting people who care with causes that matter.
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