What is a Community Foundation?

A century ago, Cleveland, Ohio banker Frederick Goff had a vision to pool the charitable resources of his community’s philanthropists into a single, great, and permanent endowment for the betterment of the city. That vision led to the formation of the Cleveland Foundation.

Today, there are nearly 800 U.S. community foundations including the Bartlesville Community Foundation. Since 1999, the BCF has tapped into “the power of together” by combining financial resources of many groups and individuals for the betterment of Bartlesville.

What is a community foundation?

A community foundation is a public charity that is dedicated to improving the lives of people in a defined geographic area. It brings together financial resources of individuals, families, and businesses to support effective nonprofits in their communities.

Here’s how it works: Charitable donors in Bartlesville contribute funds to the BCF. Those funds are pooled and invested together. While the principal amount stays intact, income from that large investment is then used for charitable purposes. Education, fine arts, programs for youth and the elderly, assistance for those who are disabled and less fortunate are just a few examples. By maintaining a collection of endowed funds the BCF is able to benefit charitable organizations, programs, and special projects throughout Bartlesville. The BCF provides a steady source of income to a wide variety of entities which allows donors to have an impact today and well beyond their lifetimes.

A respected nonprofit organization for the past 20 years, the Bartlesville Community Foundation has harnessed “the power of together” to accomplish far more in Bartlesville than any group or individual could alone. Providing easy, efficient ways to match donors with benefactors, the Bartlesville Community Foundation has a long track record of empowering with people of all income levels make a real impact.

In our ongoing series of articles about the Bartlesville Community Foundation we will further explore the many unique ways that you too can invest in the charitable organizations and causes that are important to you. But if you are ready to explore those opportunities now, contact the BCF at 918-337-2287 or by visit our office at 208 E. 4th Street downtown between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. You may also schedule an appointment between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday.

Mike Wilt is executive director of the Bartlesville Community Foundation. He can be reached at mike@bartlesvillecf.org or 918-337-2287.