The Community Foundation
About Berks County Community Foundation
Berks County Community Foundation was founded in 1994 to help individuals, families, organizations and businesses achieve their charitable objectives. Since that time, the foundation has grown to manage hundreds of charitable funds. Each year, those funds distribute scholarships and grants to support local students and nonprofit organizations and causes.
How it works
The Community Foundation does four things.
First, the Foundation helps people structure their charitable giving. Individuals and families often approach the Foundation with an idea of a way they’d like to honor the memory of a loved one or support a cause they care about now or after they pass away. Businesses and organizations often approach the Foundation to help them manage an existing scholarship or corporate charity.In either case, a member of the Foundation’s senior staff works with the people involved to determine the best way to meet their charitable objectives. Many times, but not always, it makes sense to create an endowed charitable fund at the Community Foundation.
Second, the Foundation manages the money in the charitable funds. Funds are created after a simple fund agreement is completed and an initial donation is received. The money is then pooled with the Foundation’s other funds and professionally invested for the long term. The Foundation’s investment strategy is designed to ensure money is available for grants and scholarships in perpetuity.
Third, the Foundation gives money away. The Community Foundation’s grant staff ensures that grants or scholarships from each fund are awarded as stipulated in the fund agreement. One of the advantages of working with the Community Foundation is the knowledge that grants and scholarships are tracked and watched to ensure the money is distributed the way the donor intended, even after the original donor is no longer involved with the fund.
Fourth, the Foundation measures the results of its grants and scholarships. The Foundation requires grantees to complete a grant agreement and submit a follow-up report at the end of the grant period. Scholarship recipients must confirm that they are attending school and plan to use the funding for educational purposes. In the majority of cases, scholarships checks are co-written to the school and student, providing another layer of oversight.
Please visit www.bccf.org to learn more.