As 2014 begins, we here at the Community Foundation are celebrating the centennial of our field which owes its inspiration and origins to the city of Cleveland, Ohio. In 1914, Frederick Harris Goff, a banker and lawyer, “hatched” the idea of a “community trust.”

Goff’s founding vision was to pool the charitable resources of community members, people of all means, into a single, great, permanent endowment for the benefit of all. It was such a good idea that within five years, community foundations were established in Chicago, Boston, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Grand Rapids, Minneapolis, Buffalo and New York.

Today YOUR community foundation is one of more than 700 community foundations across the United States that invite everyday people with a vision and a passion for community to create something together. Collectively we manage more than $48 billion in assets and make grants of approximately $4.5 billion a year to improve life in our communities.

In cities and towns across America, wealth has been captured as it was produced, so many cities (Toledo, Pittsburgh, Detroit to name a few) have philanthropic and leadership resources that are helping them support the challenges they now face. In other places, like Silicon Valley, much newer community foundations are capturing the wealth of our times and providing leadership to donors and communities. Much in the news of late is the $1 billion gift of Mark Zuckerburg and his wife to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

So here too, the Princeton Area Community Foundation is growing quickly and working to be a central resource for all things philanthropic. Click here for a quick look at our history and promise, and the reasons you can be proud that just like many other regions you have a great resource in our Community Foundation.