Annual Meeting Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Thank you to everyone who attended the Community Giving Foundation’s Annual Meeting on March 6th. What a wonderful time to celebrate 25 years of community giving—our journey of growth and the strong relationships with donors, nonprofit partners, and community leaders that continue to make our Foundation thrive.

During the meeting, Kara Seesholtz, Foundation President and CEO, reflected on the history of our Foundation, from the 1st fund created in 1999, to adoption of the community foundation model in 2003, to the partnerships with our affiliate foundations and the dedication of our past and present board members and staff. Harry Mathias, Foundation Board Chair, highlighted some of the ways the Foundation saw growth in 2023 as we continue to steward donor gifts for lasting community impact. We were honored to hear from Dr. Bernadette Boerckel, Chief Outreach Officer at CSIU and member of the Foundation’s Regional Board. She encouraged us all to consider our “spark”—that thing that drives our passions—and the ways that our role as “spark champions” can nurture positive change in our community.

As Kara shared, “When you open your hearts and give, you feel the good from philanthropy and develop a ‘spark’ to do more and make it spread and grow. That’s what our visionaries created for the Community Giving Foundation, and that is the purpose behind all we do. These sparks, when joined together, ignite philanthropy and local impact across our region.”

We continue to celebrate the legacies of our partners and the role you have each played in creating permanent and visible community impact right here in our communities for 25 years. Over the course of 2024, we are highlighting one story to mark each year of the Foundation’s existence. (Read all of our anniversary stories at Our latest stories share examples of:

  • How a family’s passion for music led to a scholarship opportunity through the local Chorale.
  • How a businessman’s legacy is providing long-term sustainability for area nonprofits.
  • How employees of a local bank are uniting to lift up their community.
  • How a group of philanthropists continue to champion community growth, 25 years later.
  • How current Foundation relationships challenge us to strengthen connections and collaboration for the next 25 years.