Stark Community Foundation Celebrates Record-Breaking Year of Philanthropy

Stark Community Foundation surpassed its all-time record in grantmaking and fundraising in 2017, awarding a record $9.8 million in grants and raising $18 million in new and planned gifts – all thanks to the caring philanthropists in our community.

“I’m amazed each year by the generosity of our family of donors,” said Mark J. Samolczyk, president and CEO of Stark Community Foundation. “2017’s record-breaking year represents the growing power that philanthropy has in strengthening Stark County.”

The $9.8 million in grants – which came from nearly 750 permanent endowment funds created by local individuals, families, businesses and organizations – went to hundreds of nonprofits to fund a myriad of projects and initiatives. Last year, donors supported a wide range of local interests, including the performing arts, youth development, hunger and health. Since the Foundation’s inception 55 years ago, nearly $160 million in grants have been awarded to deserving organizations.

“We’re seeing more of an interest from people from all walks of life who want to fill a community need or support a cause they care about,” said Bridgette L. Neisel, vice president of advancement at the Foundation. “The increase in grants and giving illustrates the philanthropic spirit and community-focused mindset so many in our community have.”

Of the $18 million raised in 2017, $11 million was in outright gifts and $7 million was in planned gifts, bringing Stark Community Foundation’s total assets to $272 million – a 101% increase in the last 10 years.

“Our substantial growth over the last 10 years signals great things for our community,” added Samolczyk. “Our donors are using their charitable dollars to ensure Stark County’s future is stronger and more vibrant for all.”

Stark Community Foundation is the community’s trusted partner in giving to nearly 750 individuals, families, businesses and organizations that have created charitable funds to impact the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. Ranked in the top 10 percent of community foundations in the United States today, Stark Community Foundation is committed to serving donor needs and strategically addressing local issues. The Foundation and its family of donors have granted nearly $160 million to nonprofits since 1963. Learn how you can simplify your giving and amplify your impact through our Center for Partners in Philanthropy at

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