CELEBRATING OVER 25 YEARS OF SERVICE IN THE CENTRAL SUSQUEHANNA REGION.
Berwick Health and Wellness Foundation is established in November 1998
The Berwick Health and Wellness Foundation was created in November 1998 through the sale of the Berwick Hospital from nonprofit to for-profit ownership. In July 1999, the board approved $1.2 million in grants to 14 different organizations in the local Berwick community. The Foundation also provided technical assistance, such as strategic planning and staff development, to several local nonprofit organizations.
Foundation partners with new Nurse-Family Partnership Program in 2001
The Berwick Health and Wellness Foundation collaborated with Columbia-Montour Home Health to provide a grant for the establishment of the Nurse-Family Partnership Program in 2001. The Program helps first-time parents during pregnancy and for the first two years of a child’s life. The Foundation contributed $225,000 for this effort.
Dental Health Clinic is established with Foundation grant in December 2001
In keeping with its mission—select, identify and invest in programs and projects that will improve the health and welfare of the Berwick area community—the Berwick Health and Wellness Foundation awarded a $350,000 grant to establish the Berwick Dental Health Clinic in late December 2001. The Clinic attracted considerable interest from the community, which was experiencing a severe shortage of dental care available for Medicaid and uninsured patients.
The Foundation has continued to support the Dental Health Clinic in Berwick since its start. In 2018, the Berwick Health and Wellness Fund awarded nearly $40,000 in grants to the Clinic for a digital equipment upgrade and the oral health project.
Berwick YMCA Pool opens in October 2002 with help from Foundation
The Berwick YMCA celebrated the grand opening of its state-of-the-art pool facility in October 2002. The Foundation provided a match of $425,000 towards the $1.2 million fundraising effort for the project.
Columbia-Montour Boy Scouts establish first Organizational Endowment at Foundation in December 2002
In December 2002, the Columbia-Montour chapter of the Boy Scouts of America established the Foundation’s first organizational endowment. The establishment of this fund marked the tenth separate fund for the Foundation in addition to the hospital conversion fund.
Central Susquehanna Community Foundation becomes a regional community foundation in 2003
Community Foundations of Pennsylvania encouraged an expansion of the original Berwick Health and Wellness Foundation to include a broader footprint and community foundation business model to fill a gap in Central Pennsylvania. The Foundation officially changed its name to the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation in June 2003, reflecting an expanded region for planned giving that included all of Columbia, lower-Luzerne, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties.
Foundation introduces Legacy Society in 2003
The Foundation introduced its Legacy Society in 2003, honoring those individuals and families that committed to support the Foundation by including a gift in their estate plan. In the first year, six legacy members joined the Society.
Youth in Philanthropy Program starts in 2004 with one school
The Youth in Philanthropy (YIP) program started in 2004 with the purpose of engaging young people in philanthropic giving. Seventeen students from Berwick Area High School experienced grantmaking, from researching community needs and strengths to prioritizing grant criteria and distributing checks. The group awarded $5,000 in grants to meet local school and community needs.
Foundation grants $600,000 to Berwick Public Library building campaign in 2005
The Berwick Public Library established a capital campaign in 2005 to raise funds for a new building. The Foundation recognized the potential of a new library and granted more than $600,000 to help the campaign. In addition, the Berwick Health and Wellness Fund Auxiliary pledged $50,000 and the Berwick Youth in Philanthropy gave $2,000. Construction on the new library was completed in 2007.
Foundation achieves national accreditation in 2006
In 2006, the Foundation proudly achieved national accreditation through the Council on Foundations’ National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations. In order to achieve confirmation of compliance, community foundations undergo an extensive review of organizational and financial policies and procedures.
Selinsgrove Foundation becomes an affiliate in 2006
In 1994, members of the Selinsgrove Rotary Club began the Selinsgrove Area Youth Foundation, which focused solely on providing scholarships to graduating seniors at Selinsgrove High School. Years later, the Foundation expanded its mission to support the Selinsgrove community through its philanthropic efforts, meeting the area’s social, educational, recreational and charitable needs. The Foundation affiliated with the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation in 2006, and awarded $24,000 that same year. It changed its name to the Selinsgrove Area Community Foundation in 2011.
Sunbury Foundation becomes an affiliate in 2006
The Sunbury Area Health Foundation was formed in 2005 out of the sale of the Sunbury Hospital. With more than $3 million in assets from the sale, the goal of the Foundation was to improve healthcare in the Sunbury region. In 2006, it affiliated with the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation for investment, development, and back office support. The next year, the Foundation awarded its first grant to A Community Clinic, Inc., a nonprofit medical clinic in Sunbury. It changed its name to the Sunbury Area Community Foundation in 2010.
Foundation moves office to 725 West Front Street in 2008
In 2006, the Berwick Health and Wellness Fund purchased land on West Front and Orange Street in Berwick to accommodate the Foundation’s need for future growth. Groundbreaking on the site of the new building began in May 2008, and staff moved into the office in early 2009.
Sunbury Foundation completes first competitive grantround in 2009
In only its fourth year as a Foundation, Sunbury completed its first competitive grantround, making investments in local programs and projects focusing on health, early childhood, and the working poor. In 2009, the Foundation awarded nearly $135,000 in grants and scholarships to the community.
Berwick Health and Wellness Fund celebrates 10 years of grantmaking in 2009
In 2009, the Berwick Health and Wellness Fund celebrated its 10-year anniversary. The Fund has granted over $10 million for programs and capital projects serving 23 municipalities in Columbia and Lower-Luzerne counties. Thousands of people have been assisted through hundreds of grants to charitable organizations that serve the greater Berwick area.
Volunteers in Philanthropy impact Berwick area in 2010
The Berwick Hospital Auxiliary reinvented themselves as the Volunteers in Philanthropy in 2010. Their mission was to improve the quality of life for Berwick area residents, with goals of enriching volunteerism and making meaningful grant investments. The Volunteers in Philanthropy hold an annual golf classic in Berwick each spring to support grantmaking and charitable work in the community.
Foundation commits to "achieving donors' intentions" in 2010
In 2010, the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation refined its mission to “Quality of life in the Central Susquehanna Valley—achieving donors’ intentions.” The Foundation has continued to serve as a regional philanthropic organization investing in endowment funds, large and small, to benefit the communities and residents of Columbia, Lower-Luzerne, Montour, Northumberland, Union and Snyder counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania.
Foundation responds to September 2011 flooding disasters
In response to the September 2011 flooding that affected thousands of individuals and families in communities throughout Central Pennsylvania, the Foundation established the Central Susquehanna Disaster Relief Fund. From September to December 2011, charitable donations were received from hundreds of donors wishing to help victims of the flooding. A total of $130,000 was raised over the four months, and grant applications were considered under categories of immediate, intermediate, and long-term needs.
Distinguished Corporate Citizen Award given to the Foundation in 2012
The Central Susquehanna Community Foundation was named Distinguished Corporate Citizen of the Year by the Columbia-Montour Council Boy Scouts of America. The Foundation was awarded at the Council’s Leadership Dinner in May 2012, where its impactful work in the community was honored.
Foundation surpasses 100 Funds in 2013
In 2013, the Foundation administered 121 funds covering a range of areas and interests. Types of funds included designated, donor-advised, field of interest, organizational endowment, and scholarship. That year, the Foundation awarded over $1.6 million in grants and scholarships to local communities.
Regional Impact Fund to encourage unrestricted giving established in 2013
The Foundation’s Regional Impact Fund was established in 2013. The regional, unrestricted fund allowed the Foundation to offer funding to charities that positively impacted the quality of life for residents throughout the Central Susquehanna Valley. Gifts to the fund initially supported child abuse prevention and intervention programs.
Danville Foundation becomes an affiliate in 2013
The Danville Area Community Foundation was founded in 1999 to benefit the residents of the Danville area. It affiliated with the Central Susuehanna Community Foundation in 2013, working together to build charitable funds in the Danville area, and awarded $78,000 in scholarships to Danville area students in its first year.
First Regional Child Protection Summit held in August 2013
On August 8, 2013, the Foundation hosted the first day-long Regional Child Protection Summit at the Geisinger Medical Center. Funded by the Foundation’s Regional Impact Fund, more than 167 attendees learned about child abuse prevention and intervention tactics. Opening remarks were presented by Clay Yeager, who served the needs of at-risk youth and families for more than 40 years. Keynote speakers were Joseph McGettigan and Frank Fina, co-trial prosecutors in the Jerry Sandusky case.
Foundation welcomes new President/CEO in 2014
The Foundation honored the over 10 years of service by President and CEO Eric DeWald, and welcomed Holly Morrison, D.Ed., in the position in 2014.
Foundation grants $2.5 million from over 200 Funds in 2016
The Central Susquehanna Community Foundation administered 235 funds during the 2016 year. A total of $2.5 million in grants was distributed to 166 unique organizations and scholarships to 130 students.
Women's Giving Circle becomes Foundation's first giving circle in 2017
The Foundation established its first giving circle—a form of participatory philanthropy where individuals donate their own money to a pooled fund and then decide together what projects and charities to make investments—in 2017.
The Women’s Giving Circle of CSCF was established to raise funds to distribute to projects and initiatives that improve the lives of women and girls throughout the Central Susquehanna region. Supported initiatives will include core human values like education, self-sustainability, and confidence. In March 2018, they hosted their first grant awards ceremony, where $20,000 was presented to local nonprofit organizations supporting women and girls throughout the region.
First Bloomsburg Fair STEM Competition hosted in 2017
In 2017, the Foundation hosted the first Bloomsburg Fair Regional STEM Competition in partnership with Bloomsburg University’s Regional STEM Education Center, Martz Technologies, and the Bloomsburg Fair Association. Groups of five students from Berwick, Bloomsburg, Central Columbia, Midd-West, Montgomery, and Shikellamy high schools competed for a $10,000 grant to support their school district’s STEM program. The grand prize was awarded to Midd-West High School for their project titled “Fracking to Fresh Water.”
Youth in Philanthropy grows to over 100 students and 8 schools in 2017
In 2017, the Foundation’s Youth in Philanthropy program grew to include over 100 high school students from eight local school districts—Benton, Berwick, Central Columbia, Columbia-Montour VoTech, Danville, Northwest, Shikellamy, and Warrior Run. Students embraced the slogan, “helping small communities in a big way,” and continued to create their own grant process, award local community organizations, and teach elementary students about the importance of philanthropy.
Foundation hosts first Impact Symposium in June 2018
More than 120 representatives from nonprofit organizations serving Columbia, Lower-Luzerne, Montour, Northumberland, union and Snyder Counties attended the Foundation’s first Impact Symposium in June 2018. The Symposium brought together regional partners to identify and evaluate unmet needs, network, learn and collaborate, and was supported by the Foundation’s Regional Impact Fund.
Regional Impact Fund holds first competitive grantround in 2018
In 2018, the Foundation introduced its first grantround for the Regional Impact Fund to meet the ever-changing needs across the Central Susquehanna Valley. Through the unrestricted fund, the Foundation was able to award a total of $50,000 to 11 nonprofit organizations.
Bloomsburg Foundation becomes an affiliate in 2018
The Bloomsburg Area Community Foundation was created in 1996 from the interest paid back on a loan borrowed by Magee Industrial Enterprises from a Federal Urban Development Action Grant. In order to better focus on raising funds and deciding charitable grants, the Foundation affiliated with the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation in 2018.
In its first year with CSCF, the Bloomsburg Area Community Foundation awarded approximately $17,000 to charitable organizations in the greater Bloomsburg area.
Foundation Launches Disaster Relief in Response to COVID-19
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Central Susquehanna region in early 2020, the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation was prepared to continue partnering with local organizations to promote sustainability and recovery its Disaster Relief Fund. Two grant rounds were held to meet immediate needs in the community and consider long-term effects of the pandemic for area nonprofits. With an established process in place to support disaster relief grantmaking, the Foundation also collaborated with Columbia and Montour County Commissioners to facilitate applications for local nonprofits and small businesses via the COVID-19 County Relief Block Grant.
Through the Disaster Relief Fund and Columbia County Relief Block Grant, a total of over $650,000 was awarded to nonprofits across the region in 2020.
Introducing the Community Giving Foundation
In 2019, the Foundation's Board of Directors and Staff embarked on a journey to tell the Foundation's story. As they considered the philanthropic spirit of the community and the Foundation's impact through the collective work of so many affiliate and community partners, a new strategic plan was born. In the process, several images and words began to stand out as descriptors of the Foundation and its goal - to help people create funds that change lives, both now and for years to come.
The Foundation refocused on effectively representing all its stakeholders and the work that done through the generosity of donors like you. A special committee of board and staff members led a re-branding initiative to unify the many moving parts that make up the Foundation's philanthropic work. On December 7, 2020, a new name and brand were introduced: Community Giving Foundation.
Foundation welcomes new President/CEO in 2022
The Foundation honored the over seven years of service by President and CEO Holly Morrison, D.Ed., and welcomed Kara G. Seesholtz in the position on October 1, 2022. Kara has dedicated the majority of her career to building relationships in the community through her work at the Foundation. Since 2004, she has held various positions in grantmaking, communication, and development, most recently as Chief Advancement Officer. Dedicated to the Foundation's mission and the trusted relationships she has built with the stakeholders she serves, Kara brings a renewed energy of unity and innovation to the partnerships that continue to grow across the region.
Youth in Philanthropy grows to 15 schools in 2023
In 2023, the Foundation’s Youth in Philanthropy program grew to include over 200 high school students from 15 local school districts—Benton, Berwick, Bloomsburg, Central Columbia, Columbia-Montour VoTech, Danville, Lewisburg, Line Mountain, Midd-West, Miflfinburg, Millville, Northwest, Selinsgrove, Shikellamy, and Warrior Run. Students engage in hands-on learning opportunities as they learn about philanthropy, community foundation and nonprofit structures, and the grantmaking process.
Foundation Celebrates 25 Years of Community Giving
2024 marks 25 years of community giving through the Foundation. This journey of growth speaks to the connectons and impact envisioned by our founders: from our beginnings as a $25 million health conversion in 1999, to the thoughtful decision by our visionary founders to expand our mission as a regional community foundation in 2003, to partnerships with five local affiliate foundations across the region, to over 350 unique and personalized funds that have distributed over $50 million back into our community for a lasting impact.
The Foundation is celebrating this milestone anniversary through a number of campaigns and celebrations throughout the year. Learn more at csgiving.org/25-years.