About Us

FlagsRun by the people, for the people, the Foundation is unique as a citizen-run model of philanthropy dedicated to enhancing the community as a whole, now and in the future, rather than just one sector or cause.  The Foundation remains faithful to the vision of its founders, whose experiment in a distinctly neighborly and self-reliant model of philanthropy took hold and spread deep roots. The Foundation is unique in its capacity to unite people from diverse sectors in influencing and effecting positive change within our community.

What is a Community Foundation?

Community foundations are tax-exempt public charities dedicated to improving the quality of life in a city or region. Run by and for its community, the foundation is overseen by a volunteer board of leading citizens and managed by a professional staff.

The foundation enables individuals, families, businesses, and organizations to create permanent charitable funds that help their community. The funds are easy to set up and provide tax benefits. The foundation administers these funds on behalf of donors for a modest fee.

Each donor’s fund becomes part of a community endowment. The foundation invests the endowment and uses a portion of its annual earnings to make grants that honor each donor’s wishes in perpetuity.

Community foundations do more than make grants. They also help their regions identify and meet long-term and future needs.

In the United States, community foundations administer more than $31 billion in charitable funds and serve nearly 700 communities.

Confirmed in compliance with National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.

Our History

When the City of Worcester incorporated in 1848, it was a booming commercial and transportation crossroads. Even then, its business leaders were known for their philanthropy as well as their ingenuity.

The Greater Worcester Community Foundation continues this tradition of philanthropy with a citizen-led model of giving that engages the entire community.

In 1975, a group of Worcester residents established the Foundation. They shared a small endowment but a large vision: to develop an enduring organization that engages Worcester County in its own betterment.

In our first 35 years, we’ve used the simple, accountable and flexible model of the community foundation to build an endowment of $120 million, raise $107 million and distribute $75 million in grants. Each year, we continue to grow our resources—knowledge, relationships and funds—and do more for our community.

Organizations Outside of Worcester County

The Foundation was created to serve all of the cities and towns in Worcester County. Your program must be located in or benefit residents of Worcester County although your headquarters may be located elsewhere. If your project is outside our service area, use the National Community Foundation Locator to find your local community foundation.

Foundation Facts at a Glance

Since its start in 1975, the Foundation has:

  • Raised $107 million from donations
  • Established 450 funds on behalf of individuals, families and nonprofits
  • Built a community endowment of $120 million through prudent investments
  • Distributed $75 million in grants to nonprofits serving our region

Annual Report

Read our Annual Reports