Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Westchester Community Foundation Disbursed Millions in 2016
The Westchester Community Foundation, one of the largest funders of nonprofits in Westchester, New York, started 2016 with a new website, updated strategies, and a refreshed mission: “Bringing philanthropic legacies to life. Transforming our communities.”
“We’ve sharpened our message to better explain our value as Westchester’s community endowment and our services for donors,” said Laura Rossi, the Foundation’s Executive Director. “We care deeply about making Westchester a better place for its residents, and we want to share the excellent work of local nonprofits with our donors.”
The Foundation is a division of The New York Community Trust, which has earned a reputation as the home of charitable New Yorkers who share a passion for the City and its suburbs. The Trust formed WCF in 1975 to encourage local philanthropy. Westchester residents – from teachers to entrepreneurs – make the Foundation’s work possible, by setting up donor-advised funds or by establishing permanent funds to help local nonprofits.
The Foundation celebrated a successful year in 2015, growing its endowment to $60 million and disbursing $6 million from donor-advised funds and discretionary grants. Through its discretionary grants program, the Foundation awarded a total of $1.7 million to 70 local nonprofits throughout the county. Grants ranged in size from $1,100 to $100,000, including support for services for low-income residents, underwriting for artist fellowships and cultural events, and the protection of the region’s watersheds.
At a grants information session on February 12, the Foundation’s staff described the impact it seeks to make through its competitive grants program, including a new emphasis on workforce development, expanded support for college and career options for young people, and support for community-organizing.
“We want to strengthen our communities through our competitive grants program, and we also continue to encourage our donor-advisors to give locally,” noted Ms. Rossi. “Programs such as our Community Matters film series, a partnership with the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, is just one way that we can help raise awareness about important local issues.”