Priority Areas

Our Purpose

Building a vibrant and prosperous community through philanthropy.

Our Guiding Principles 

  • Encourage bold vision and action
  • Empower donors, organizations and individuals
  • Share community knowledge and resources
  • Convene and connect stakeholders
  • Identify and address regional challenges and opportunities

Our Working Culture

  • Maintain the highest standard of professional and ethical behavior
  • Strive for transparency, credibility, trust, respect and honest feedback in our relationships
  • Seek to be innovative and adaptive in our approach
  • Listen to and include individuals that are representative of our region
  • Be mindful of our history, both successes and failures, yet ambitious in pursuing new opportunities

Our Strategic Priorities

During this next three-year cycle the Foundation will continue to focus its discretionary and competitive financial and organizational resources in two areas:

  1. Community & Economic Growth and Prosperity
    • Placemaking
      • Our downtowns – their vitality and continued revitalization
      • Waterfront development and utilization
      • Large Connected Trailway Systems
    • Economic Development
      • Entrepreneurism
      • Small Business
      • Mission (aka “Impact”) Investing; true profit-making investments within our region
    • Community Investment
      • Nonprofit capacity building
      • Investments in childcare-center expansions, additional facilities and operations
  2. College, Career and Life Success
    • Pathways to career exploration and preparation for lifetime success
    • Engaging and supporting nontraditional and at-risk students through post-secondary education
    • Hands-on learning and training such as robotics, skilled trades, workshops, tech labs

Other Areas of Interest

The Foundation manages hundreds of endowed fund and works with 1,000+ annual donors who have a wide and diverse range of interest areas. The majority of the Foundation’s assets have pre-determined goals, objectives and focus areas.

We will always strive to help our donors achieve their individual goals and objectives. Traditionally, these areas of support have included:

  • Early childhood issues and challenges
  • Basic needs for disadvantaged members of our community
  • Support for arts and culture initiatives and growth
  • Programs, projects and initiatives targeting an entire family to help them become self-sufficient and be able to contribute to our region’s growth and prosperity

In addition to making outright grants, the Foundation is currently engaged in these key programs.