Some visionary Vermonters had a good idea 25 years ago when they established the Vermont Community Foundation. At its humble beginning the Community Foundation had few financial assets, but it did have a clear sense of what it hoped to become and of the role it could play. They sought to create a statewide charitable fund for Vermont its people and its communities and for those among us who are eager to help provide long-term charitable capital to build a vital and strong future for our state.
Today, the Foundation has approximately $155 million in charitable assets and is Vermont’s largest homegrown philanthropic foundation, managing a collection of over 600 charitable funds that invest more than $18 million annually in Vermont through grants, loans, and other investments. But its success and impact should not be measured solely by the size of its assets and the amount of money it grants. Its real worth is in its approach, its values, its readiness to help Vermonters, Vermont communities, and Vermont organizations.
In the wake of Irene, the Vermont Community Foundation has quietly played a pivotal role coordinating and focusing the flow of private charitable relief dollars, convening key players in the response, working with donors in state and out who want to help, and providing counsel, support and friendship to communities and organizations trying to recover. The Foundation is also collaborating with the band Phish and their Waterwheel Foundation to steer the estimated $1.2 million in proceeds from their extraordinary September 14th concert, benefiting Irene flood recovery in Vermont, to where it will have the greatest positive impact.
With a remarkably willing, savvy, and accessible staff, a relevant range of services and logistical expertise, and some clear ideas of where and how to provide leverage, the Community Foundation is demonstrating, as it has over the last twenty-five years, the wisdom and vision of its founders. It is nimble, neutral, approachable, and determined to work with people of goodwill who seek answers and solutions to tough questions and important community needs.
Good ideas don’t come along very often; the Vermont Community Foundation is a good idea! Just as it has demonstrated in its response to Irene, the Foundation plays a relevant and important role in Vermont. We are grateful for it and wish it well as it grows and plays an increasingly essential role in building strong and vital Vermont communities and assists Vermonters who want to help maximize the impact of their charitable giving.
Permanent Fund for the Well-Being of Vermont Children
of the Vermont Community Foundation