Getting to Know Your Community Foundation

A community foundation is the engine for local philanthropy. It is an umbrella organization that is made up of a collection of individual funds or foundations that were started by either local community minded citizens, businesses, or other nonprofit organizations.The community foundation manages the funds under one charitable corporation. It can then make the greatest impact on current community needs, and create charitable resources for the future.

Strengths of the community foundation model include:

Central Susquehanna Community Foundation

Since 2003, the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation (CSCF) is the regional community foundation for the Central Susquehanna Valley. As a 501 (c)(3) public charity, CSCF offers the opportunity for donors to make lasting gifts that will impact the needs of our area. Giving to CSCF allows donors to focus on their own charitable interests or give broadly to a variety of needs.

In only 16 years, CSCF has grown to more than 200 charitable funds, increased assets to $45 million and annually provides more than $2.2 million in grant investments into our community. These investments are enhancing the quality of life in our region by providing support to nonprofit organizations and programs which impact physical, mental and oral health and wellness, the arts, education, youth activities, early childhood development, recreation and much more.

Looking forward, we want to do more to meet the charitable needs of our region. We strive to expand our impact by working with donors to establish funds that have an even broader reach, in turn, creating increased funding for vital and changing charitable needs.

Mission

Quality of life in the Central Susquehanna Valley - achieving donors' intentions.

Regional Service Area

The Foundation's service area includes Lower-Luzerne, Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union Counties.

Original and Largest Endowment

The Foundation's original and largest endowment is the Berwick Health and Wellness Fund (BHWF), valued at approximately $30 million, which was created through the sale of the Berwick Hospital in 1999. Through the BHWF, the Foundation promotes health and wellness throughout 23 boroughs and townships in eastern Columbia County and Lower-Luzerne County.

Affiliates

Our affiliate foundations are designated to support a particular geographic area, be it a county, a community or a specific region. Each affiliate is overseen by a board of directors of local leaders charged with educating their neighbors about creating a “charitable savings account” to benefit the community and making decisions about grant distributions based on an individual affiliate’s priorities. Affiliates benefit from the administrative support, guidance and philanthropic expertise provided by the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation, as well as the dedication and vision of local leaders within the communities being served. Our affiliates include:

Council on Foundations

An active philanthropic network, the Council on Foundations, founded in 1949, is a nonprofit leadership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. It provides the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance and sustain their ability to advance the common good. The Council empowers professionals in philanthropy to meet today's toughest challenges and advances a culture of charitable giving in the U.S. and globally. The Central Susquehanna Community Foundation has been confirmed in compliance with National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.

Learn more about community foundations by reading this Fact Sheet.