What does extraordinary mean to you?
At the Community Foundation, we are on a journey with you to answer that question each and every day. And the best part is, there isn’t just one answer, there are countless answers. Our work is to turn your hopes into ideas, your passion into legacy, and what’s possible, into what’s extraordinary for our shared future.
Since 1924, we have worked with people to help support causes they care about across Lancaster County. Today, we steward more than $140 million in community assets that help support Lancaster every year. These resources are unique because they mean that this year, and every year, the Community Foundation will invest a portion of this money back into community benefit organizations and the emerging opportunities and needs of Lancaster County.
Whether it’s through our grant programs, our community initiatives, responding to emerging needs through our community endowment, or working with others to build their legacy by activating their commitment to what’s next, the Community Foundation is fueled by what makes Lancaster County extraordinary: you.
What we believe
Innovation comes from within our community, and we have the collective wisdom to create solutions.
Relationships form the foundation of a healthy, vibrant community.
Inclusion of many ideas, people, and perspectives will make us stronger.
Integrity builds the trust we have in our institutions and in each other.
Fearlessness can open our minds to new approaches that could change our community for good.
These values come from years of experience partnering with people across Lancaster County. We believe that in order to embolden an extraordinary community, we must continue to challenge ourselves and continue to learn from you. Together, we turn your ideas into action and your investments into legacy that will strengthen our community for generations.
Community Centered Design
As a Community Foundation, we know that our work and programs have to be built with our community, not for them. Our work focuses on Community Centered Design, a philosophy inspired by design thinking and real-time strategy that allows us to invest in new and innovative ideas, while being able to respond to emerging community needs.
The Power of Endowment
The Lancaster County Community Foundation occupies a unique and vital role in the community thanks to residents of Lancaster County who have invested in our shared future. Many individuals invest with us as a way to support the causes they care about forever. Over time, many people have also committed to our community endowment that is designed to respond to emerging community needs.
The I Love Lancaster fund, our community endowment, supports ongoing needs and opportunities in Lancaster County, enabling us to make an investment in change, an investment in the certainty and sustainability of our community for the generations to come.
For example, after the outbreak of COVID-19, our community endowment provided the backbone of the Lancaster Cares initiative by allowing us to invest an immediate $250,000 to launch a fund to assist individuals and families with emerging needs concerning food, housing, job loss, and health care. Lancaster Cares generated over $1 million in rapid response dollars and supported hundreds of organizations serving our community. Learn more about Lancaster Cares and the Community Benefit Collective, designed to attend to the emerging needs of CBOs.