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 local 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 the 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 of 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.