Want to Donate Locally But Not Sure How? Get to Know Your Community Foundation

Exponent Philanthropy a nationwide center for family philanthropy says everyone wants to help during a crisis, and, for many, that means giving money. But few understand what it takes to distribute funds to the people, businesses, or nonprofits that will create the greatest impact and fulfill the most need — especially if the money lives in different funds at different organizations.

Enter community foundations, which are inherently good at sharing information and resources. In fact, they do it all the time. Community foundations exist to help others do more with less and find ways to strengthen a community through common resources, ingenuity, and communication.

Most likely you felt that impact in the communities of Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott, though you may not have known the help was fueled by Main Street Community Foundation (MSCF) — your local community foundation.

Main Street Community Foundation said in a press release that twenty-five years ago, MSCF was established by local community leaders who could not have envisioned a worldwide pandemic in 2020.

Nonprofits are struggling due to the challenging effects of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic – there has been a significant increase in the demand for their services and a simultaneous decrease in both program and fundraising revenue. But despite the uncertainty surrounding these organizations, most are still running vital programs.

However, they did create an enduring organization that in the past several months was able to quickly mobilize resources and provide COVID-19 response-related grants to meet the most urgent local needs.

This timely response, and more than $20.8 million in grants and scholarships provided since 1995, would not have been possible without the support of donors.

“There has never been a year like this, and MSCF has only been able to respond in the way it has due to the generosity of many donors,” stated Susan Sadecki, President & CEO of MSCF.

“The partnerships we have built with donors, nonprofits, other foundations and the general public has been game-changing for our communities.”

MSCF is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and was planning on hosting The Main Event: A Quarter Century Celebration to not only commemorate this milestone but to raise funds for its community leadership initiatives. Like most other events, it was canceled.

MSCF wrote on their blog “What started as a $500,000 gift has grown to a $48.5 million community foundation.”

However, all sponsors of the event have redirected their support to MSCF’s COVID-19 Response Fund.

“We are very grateful to our sponsors,” stated Sadecki. “Their donations are being combined with those we’ve received all year to provide additional resources to organizations now and to provide aid to local nonprofits in the recovery period.” 

As one of Main Street Community Foundation’s Founders, Sherwood L. Anderson, said, “I think everyone involved with MSCF will agree that the idea of a community foundation has been fulfilled to an extent greater than anyone’s original expectation, with new funds and hundreds of thousands of dollars added each year of our existence… We are truly blessed!”

Nonprofits are struggling due to the challenging effects of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic – there has been a significant increase in the demand for their services and a simultaneous decrease in both program and fundraising revenue. But despite the uncertainty surrounding these organizations, most are still running vital programs.

You can learn more about Main Street Community Foundation here.

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