Community Foundations Centennial

The Council on Foundations is excited to launch Seasons of Giving, a quarterly newsletter with valuable insights to help you advance your work and increase your impact.

Silicon Valley Community Foundation is in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, close to the campuses of companies like Google, Facebook and Apple. Companies like these have made the region a leader in the global economy and a hub of innovation. The Bay Area is home to a diverse population of more than 7 million people, a number expected to grow by 2 million by 2040. Where will these people live and work? What impact will they have on our air, water, open space, traffic and climate?

The proudest moment of Ruben Garcia’s life was when he watched his first child graduate from Boulder High School last spring. The father of three and his wife know how much it took for their son to reach the important milestone. They will tell you that their work with him started before preschool.

The Council on Foundations is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the creation of the first community foundation by shining a spotlight on the myriad ways these important institutions are making a difference – and discussing how these vital institutions will serve their communities during the next 100 years.

"We need more agency for people in communities, not just people with money. We’re giving so much voice to new people moving in...My grandmother shouldn't have to battle to keep her apartment." These words were spoken by Donovan, a 16-year-old resident of East New York, last month in a roundtable meeting with young men from neighborhoods across Brooklyn.

Monterey County, California, is a remarkable place. Great beauty. Great resources. We have Pebble Beach, Big Sur, Salinas and Salinas Valley (Steinbeck Country), and Monterey Bay. We also have a large immigrant population, here largely to help harvest the vegetables that land on your dinner table, no matter your city or state. We have another large population serving our $4 billion tourist economy.

In the Quad Cities, a bi-state community situated on the Mississippi River in Iowa and Illinois, three students drop out of high school every school day… meaning that between 600-700 students drop out of school every year. While our community’s drop out problem is less severe than in other communities, the lost potential represented in this statistic is not acceptable. In 2008, the Board of Directors for the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend (CFGRB) made high school graduation our number one community impact priority.

It’s tough running schools in rural Missouri. Tight budgets, strained resources, and dwindling state and federal funding all conspire against students in the Ozarks region, which is designated by the United States Department of Agriculture as an area of “persistent poverty.”