Your Trusted Partner in Giving

Since 1963, when Stark Community Foundation was formed, hundreds of thousands of people's lives have been enriched through grants and scholarships totaling more than $170 million. Stark Community Foundation has been the community's trusted partner in giving to over 760 individuals, families, businesses and nonprofits that have created funds to impact the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. The role of the Foundation has grown from simple grantmaker to a community leader seeking long-term solutions to diverse community challenges.



Stark Community Foundation was established in 1963 as a multiple trusteeship community foundation by the five Stark County banks then operating trust departments.

Assets from the Edward A. Langenbach Trust, designated for charitable use in Canton and its environs, were transferred to the Foundation and matched by a contribution from The Timken Foundation of Canton.



March 1964, The First Distribution Committee consisted of William H. Belden, George L. Deal, George H. Deuble, Ben M. Dryer, and Richard O. Parker.

August 1964, Wilbur D. Hunter, former Vice President and Trust Officer of Harter Bank & Trust Co. is appointed as executive secretary of the Stark County Foundation. At the end of 1964, all five Corporate Trustees in Stark County held funds of the Foundation, which totaled more than $4.6 million.


In 1966, Stark County Foundation distributes its first grant of $30,000 to the Wilderness Center to help acquire a 20-acre lot to make the Wilderness Center a reality.



Stark Community Foundation's Scholarship and Loan Program was established.


The Schneider Fund became the first Donor Advised Fund administered by Stark Community Foundation. Merlin Schneider told his sons "Everything we have, we owe to the city of Canton and Stark County. After all - we made it here, we ought to spend it here."


In 1979, William K. Wilson became the new Executive Director. He remained in this position until 1988.



The Newmarket Project was an approximately $50 million reconstruction project that renovated several blocks of downtown Canton. The leadership of the Foundation - and specifically the guidance of Norman Jackson, a key project donor and president of Newmarket Project, Inc., helped the project serve as a catalyst for community growth in Canton.


James Bower became the Foundation's first full-time director. He served in this capacity from November 1988 through December 2009. During his tenure, the Foundation's staff expanded from four to twelve, while assets grew from more than $26 million to over $153 million.



Grants were distributed during the 1990's for several renovation projects in Stark County including the Saxton House, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Fountain at the Garden Center in Stadium Park, and the Stark County Courthouse.

The Foundation's SummerTime Kids initiative became a reality in 1992. Charitable grants of $500 to $2,000 are awarded annually to imaginative and unique summer programs with an emphasis on character and community service.


The Neighborhood Partnership Grant Program was established in 1997. The aim of the program is to help neighborhood residents, at a grass roots level, take on the responsibility of creating safe, well maintained neighborhoods that are inviting places to live, work, play, and raise a family. This program has become one of the most important areas that we support at the Foundation and will continue to be a major focus for the Foundation in the years to come.



Stark Community Foundation establishes its home at 400 Market Avenue N. The building, formerly the St. Edward Hotel, was dedicated as the "Foundations Centre" on June 28, 2006.


Mark J. Samolczyk assumed the role of President of Stark Community Foundation on January 1, 2010.


Stark Community Foundation surpassed a milestone with the announcement of its first quarter grant awards. The Foundation exceeded $100 million in grants since its inception in 1963.


Stark Community Foundation received the single largest new fund when it welcomed The ArtsinStark Foundation Endowment Fund as its 519th fund.

The Foundation set a record year in donations as donors contributed more than $17.2 million to new and existing funds.

Giving history was made during the first-ever matching fund initiative "give BIG Stark County," leveraging more than $1 million that will ultimately benefit many local organizations.


Happy 50th Anniversary SCF!

North Canton Medical Foundation established the second largest fund in Stark Community Foundation's 50-year history, bringing SCF's total assets to more than $193 million.

The SummerTime Kids Program exceeds $1 million in grants with the announcement of its 2013 awards.

SCF ranks in the top 10 percent of community foundations in the United States today.

The Foundation takes a proactive approach to addressing food security in Stark County by conducting a study to gain a deeper understanding of the role food has in developing a secure, healthy and economically vital community.


SCF ranks in the top 10 percent of community foundations in the United States today.

Stark Community Foundation's total assets surpass the $200 million mark.



SCF ranks in the top 10 percent of community foundations in the United States today.

Stark Community Foundation sets a historic all-time high for fundraising, generating $17.6 million in new and planned gifts, $9.3 million of which was in outright gifts and $8.3 in planned gifts. The Foundation and its family of donors also awarded $8.3 million in grants to nonprofits - the highest in Foundation history.

Stark Community Foundation announces its first round of food security grants. The Foundation, in collaboration with The Paul and Carol David Foundation and Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton, awards nearly $250,000 in planning and implementation grants to organizations finding long-term solutions to hunger.


SCF ranks in the top 10 percent of community foundations in the United States today.

Stark Community Foundation and its family of donors set a new record in 2016 with $9.1 million in grants awarded to nonprofits making a difference in our community. The Foundation also raised $16 million in new and planned gifts – the third highest amount raised in its 54-year history.

SCF announces its second round of food security grants in September. SCF, in collaboration with The Paul & Carol David Foundation and Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton, have awarded nearly $500,000 in grants to local organizations that are working to ensure food security in the county.