Tuesday, October 13, 2015


History of the Community Foundation of the Endless Mountains

The Community Foundation was created on January 27, 1998 by a small group of people working together as an affiliate of the Williamsport Lycoming Foundation. This relationship served as an internship, and allowed the newly formed Community Foundation of Susquehanna County to learn from the oldest and one of the most highly respected Community Foundations in Pennsylvania.   

  A year later the Community Foundation made its first grants, $4125 in total.   

  By December 2000, the assets of the Community Foundation had reached $250,000. The Foundation had merged with another county charity, The Charities Distribution Fund, and the following May $56,500 was distributed to local charities.   

  April 1. 2001 a Program Director, Joe Burke, was hired. Plans were made for the Charities Distribution Fund to become a United Way.   

  On December 31, 2002, the Community Foundation had completed five years as an affiliate of the Williamsport Lycoming Foundation, and as previously agreed, the Foundation became an independent organization, a not-for-profit corporation, designated tax exempt under 501(c)(3).   

  During 2003 the Community Foundation conducted a capital campaign to raise money to start a United Way. $300,000 in pledges and $100,000 worth of services-in-kind was raised.   

  By the end of 2003 assets surpassed $500,000, grants were over $45,000, and the United Way closed its first annual campaign raising $120,000.   

  In 2004 the Community Foundation was authorized to administer Education Improvement Tax Credits by the Department of Community and Economic Development. This program and the growth of Foundation endowments enabled the amount of grants to grow to $265,000 through the year.   

  2005 saw several staff changes. Earle Wootton became president; Ruth Donnelly became Executive Director of the United Way and Operation Manager of the Community Foundation. Peter Quigg joined the Foundation as the Director of Development, and Amy Steinberg began work as Administrative Assistant.   

  October 2, 2005 the Community Foundation agreed to enlarge the region that it served to include Wyoming County. Four directors were added to the board to represent the new county.   

  By the end of 2005 assets had grown to $900,000, grants exceeded $400,000. The combined impact of the Foundation and the United Way surpassed $600,000. The two- year impact on Susquehanna County was over 1 million dollars.   

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