How We Stay In Touch
During early 2020, The Community Foundation staff transitioned to working remotely in response to the pandemic. We have now moved to a permanent hybrid working model, where some of our staff members still work remotely, some have returned to the office, and some do both. We remain always available to assist our donors and grant or scholarship applicants.
2021 proved to be a great year. The number of our grants continued to grow, as did the number of scholarships awarded. We once again led and collaborated to meet some urgent community needs. Notably, we delivered emergency funding for baby formula, and briefed our state legislators on the essential role education tax credits play in enabling families to afford college and career training.
Looking forward to 2023, we will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the beginning of the Community Foundation. On January 27, 1998 Earle Wootton and William Lewis established the Community Foundation of Susquehanna County as an affiliate of the Williamsport Lycoming Foundation, the oldest community foundation in Pennsylvania. This began our journey to where we are today. In 2021, we ended the year with $27,762,753 in assets, $3,924,430 in grants and a lean 7.44 percent expense ratio. Working smarter and attention to costs are as important to us as they are to our donors.
The primary focus for Commonwealth Charitable Management has been on our donors and how to maximize their philanthropic impact. As an operating division, the Community Foundation of the Endless Mountains benefits from the administrative power of the parent organization. Both entities leverage technology by using specialized software systems that enable us to track donors’ interests, their funds and grants.
This year, we updated our website to feature each of our funds. Each fund has its own page where potential donors learn more about the fund and can make online donations by tapping an individualized “Donate” link. That link can be shared via social media. Website visitors will also find many helpful articles on how to achieve their philanthropic goals.
In 2021, we started work on our secure donor portal to allow a donor that starts a fund to see timely data on their fund’s performance, donations to the fund, and grants made from the fund. Coming features will allow grant recipients to share details and feedback on how those grants were utilized. All of our development efforts help us to stay in touch with our donors, and to allow insight into their philanthropic impact.
By Cristine Clayton, Executive Director and CEO, Community Foundation Of The Endless Mountains