The beginning of a new year always brings with it reflection on the year past and new hope and optimism for the year ahead. The new year provides a fresh, clean slate from which to begin moving forward. As it relates to the Community Foundation, this is a very similar process. The Foundation board of directors and staff always take a moment to remember the successes of a year ago, while continuing to strive for future excellence with each passing day.
If success is measured in numbers, then 2005 was truly a great year for the Community Foundation. This is most prominently demonstrated through the scholarship process. In 2005, over 800 students received a scholarship award out of approximately 1,000 applicants. This means that an astonishing 81% of students that applied for scholarship assistance received an award. Even more impressive is the $620,000 awarded to these scholarship recipients. This number signifies a $100,000 increase in scholarship awards from the previous year. In terms of scholarship assistance, 2005 meant the Foundation was able to set record numbers and assist more students than ever before.
Scholarship awards may have seen an increase in 2005, but so did the overall grant funding from the Foundation. While scholarships are considered part of the total grant awards, there are many other grants awarded to area organizations throughout the year. In 2005, CRCF’s total amount of grants awarded was just under $2,000,000, which is over a $300,000 increase from 2004. This means that, in 2005, more monies were awarded back to the community for the benefit of the community than in the previous year. This also means that CRCF was able to provide more assistance to more area organizations in a quest to help these organizations be successful.
2005 was also a year of strong relationship-building for CRCF, as 20 new funds were established with the Foundation, again, signifying an increase from 2004. This shows that support for CRCF continues to remain strong and that donors trust the Foundation as a resource, partner, and friend in their efforts to assist some aspect of the community. These new funds ranged from Community Service Funds to Field of Interest Funds to Donor-Advised Funds, demonstrating the flexibility that the Foundation can offer to satisfy any donor’s charitable desires.
Looking ahead to 2006, it would seem to be a daunting task to try and top the “numbers” of 2005. However successful 2005 is deemed, the Foundation will continue to fulfill its mission of “enriching the quality of life in the Chautauqua region” in every year to come. In 2006, this might mean more scholarships and grants awarded, more funds established, and more monies invested; but no matter how this success is measured, the Community Foundation will always proactively search for the greatest needs of the community and work to satisfy those needs. The Community Foundation is here to work for you and, above all else, the Chautauqua Region and will continue to do so in 2006.