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Agile, Responsive, Supportive: 30 Years of Impact

For 30 years, Community Foundation for the Alleghenies (CFA) has worked to prepare for and respond to community needs, including those that we may never have anticipated. We’ve helped to connect thousands of donors with change-making work happening on the ground. This happens through grantmaking throughout the year and by investing and saving for the funding needs of future generations. It can be hard to measure that impact because it often adds up to so much more than dollars. Over the past three decades, we’ve made grants and charitable distributions of more than $110 million on behalf of our donors. What kind of impact has resulted?

One third-party consultant helped us break those dollars down to some quantifiable outcomes for one of our funds, the Community Initiatives Fund, which is supported in large part by the Richard King Mellon Foundation. According to an analysis by Pittsburgh-based Fourth Economy Consulting, that fund has directly and indirectly helped create a wide range of meaningful and measurable outcomes over the past 10 years: creating or connecting more than 77 miles of trails, conserving more than 250 acres of land, serving more than 34,000 young people, engaging 5,000 volunteers to improve the community, and providing health and wellness services to nearly 6,000 people.

This year’s unexpected challenges provided another opportunity for the Foundation to provide uniquely responsive support. We were able to adapt to the unexpected and pivot to provide help where it was most needed. The COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, launched with $100,000 each from CFA and Lee Initiatives Health and Wellness Endowment, has provided nearly $300,000 in emergency funding to struggling nonprofits, including emergency services, fire departments and ambulance crews who lost significant revenue as a result of the pandemic. With a target of responding to health, human services, and economic challenges, the Rapid Response Fund—with gifts from more than 75 individual donors offering $20 to $5,000—provided an avenue for our community to deploy immediate help to our friends and neighbors, right here in our region.

To read more from CFA’s 2020 Annual Report, CLICK HERE.

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