GWCF's Work in the Community

Ours is a citizen-run model of philanthropy dedicated to enhancing the community in perpetuity. 

In establishing the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, our founders sought to develop an organization that engaged Worcester County in its own betterment. This neighborly experiment built on self-reliance embraces and engages diverse sectors united in their vision of a better Worcester.

In our first 40 years, we’ve used the simple, accountable and flexible model of the community foundation to build an endowment of $198 million, raise $142 million and award $169 million in grants. Each year, we continue to grow our resources—knowledge, relationships and funds—and do more for 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, a foundation is overseen by a volunteer board of leading citizens and managed by a professional staff.
  • Community foundations enable 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.

The National Standards Seal by our name indicates official confirmation from the Council on Foundations that we have met the most rigorous standards in philanthropy. It affirms our commitment to financial security, transparency and accountability. It says our grantmaking includes an open, competitive process designed to address the changing needs of our community.

The National Standards Seal 

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.

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