PARKERSBURG - The Marietta Community Foundation and Our Community's Foundation the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates of Doddridge, Jackson, Little Kanawha Area, Mason and Ritchie Counties celebrate Nov.12-18 as National Community Foundations Week. For more than 21 years, MCF and PACF have joined 700 of their peer foundations across America to tell the stories of lives changed and communities transformed through their local partnerships with concerned citizens and community leaders and organizations, according to a news release.
"Community foundations work daily to provide resources and knowledge to address some of the most pressing issues facing our region, such as employment and education. They impact lives, solve problems, and improve futures," said Carol Wharff, Marietta Community Foundation executive director. "In the current economy, with limited resources and ever-growing needs, we are determined to bring our community partners together to find innovative and effective solutions to some of our area's most challenging social problems."
Community foundations are independent, public charities which work with local donors to address a wide array of community-level concerns. They are among the fastest-growing forms of philanthropy; every state has at least one.
The 2011 Columbus Survey found that despite the recession, giving by the nation's 100 largest community foundations increased slightly in 2010 and exceeded pre-recession levels.
Locally, in 2011, MCF granted more than $990,000 and Our Community's Foundation - PACF & the Regional Affiliates granted $1.6 million across its eleven county service area for a wide array of important causes and programs.
The two foundations work together to address common issues. Last year, PACF launched its "Civic Leaders Fellowship Initiative," which culminated in 14 local college students receiving paid summer employment with area nonprofits, business and government. MCF contributed funds for this program and served as a host - work site for a Fellow. The two regional foundations also work together to bring training opportunities periodically for our area's nonprofits.
According to Judy Sjostedt, Our Community's Foundation executive director, "We do our best to make sure we give area citizens the most value for their support. Everything our area community foundations have done and all we can ever do is the direct result of the generous help given by local citizens. With their interest and support, we can continue working to build our communities into more culturally, socially and economically vibrant and self-reliant places.
On behalf of all those who benefitted from local giving last year, our organizations say thank you!"
In 2011, community foundations nationwide supplied $4.2 billion for nonprofit activities in fields including arts and education, health and human services, the environment, and disaster relief. The community foundation model has caught on around the world as of 2010 there were 1,680 community foundations in 51 countries.