Since 1963 when Stark Community Foundation was formed, hundreds of thousands of people’s lives have been changed through the power of philanthropy.


We seek a thriving, engaged and inclusive community.


We partner with individuals, families, businesses and nonprofits to help them achieve their charitable goals.


  • People We believe our residents are the most valued resource of our community.
  • Accessibility We are approachable and welcoming to all.
  • Stewardship We manage the charitable dollars entrusted to us in a responsible, efficient way.
  • Knowledge We pride ourselves on proven knowledge and expertise to make data-driven decisions.
  • Collaboration We make the greatest impact together.


Over the years, the role of the Foundation has grown from a simple grantmaker to a community leader seeking long-term solutions to diverse community challenges.

Take a look back at some of our meaningful milestones throughout our nearly 6o-year history.




Stark County Foundation starts 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, are transferred to the Foundation and matched by a contribution from The Timken Foundation of Canton. Pictured above is Edward A. Langenbach.



The first Distribution Committee consists of William H. Belden, George L. Deal, George H. Deuble, Ben M. Dryer and Richard O. Parker. Later that year, Wilbur D. Hunter, former vice president and trust officer of Harter Bank & Trust Co. is appointed as executive secretary. All five corporate trustees in Stark County held funds of the Foundation, which totaled more than $4.6 million at the end of the year.


The community foundation awards its first grant of $30,000 to the Wilderness Center to help acquire a 20-acre lot to make the Wilderness Center a reality.



William K. Wilson becomes the new executive director and remains in this position until 1988.



Several blocks of downtown Canton are renovated as part of the Newmarket Project, an approximately $50 million reconstruction project. 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 becomes the community foundation's first full-time director and remains in this role until 2009. During his tenure, the staff expanded from four to 12 while assets grew from $26 million to more than $150 million.



Grants are awarded during the 1990s 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 becomes a reality by intentionally awarding grants from $500 to $2,000 to youth summer programs.


Stark County Foundation changes its name to Stark Community Foundation.

The Neighborhood Partnership Grant Program launches with a focus on helping neighborhood residents create safe, well-maintained neighborhoods.



Stark Community Foundation establishes its home in the formerly St. Edward Hotel at 400 Market Avenue North in downtown Canton.



Stark Community Foundation celebrates 50 years of serving donors and impacting our community.


Stark Community Foundation commissions and releases The Future of Food Security in Stark County: County Assessment and Strategic Framework for Change, a report that examines hunger issues and identifies resources and opportunities to feed Stark County residents.

The inaugural Future of Food Security grants are awarded to organizations finding long-term solutions to hunger.


A new grantmaking record is set with $9.1 million in grants awarded to nonprofits making a difference in our community.


Stark Community Foundation commissions and releases Strengthening Stark, a report that assesses the current economic and social health of Stark County. The report has since spurred a county-wide community conversation and created a movement to create a vibrant, growing county.

The Foundation breaks grantmaking and fundraising records with $9.8 million in grants awarded and $18 million raised.


Stark Community Foundation awards an all-time high of $11.9 million in grants.

The Foundation surpasses $10 million in scholarships awarded since inception.

Stark Community Foundation launches a Center for Partners in Philanthropy that offers a variety of services and best-in-class resources to help individuals and families simplify their giving and amplify their impact.



The Canton Repository recognizes Stark Community Foundation as the 2019 recipient of the Moving Our Community Forward Foundation Award for our efforts to improve our community.

The first THINKBIG community conversations are held throughout Stark County.

The community foundation awards its largest board-directed grant in history with a $1 million grant to Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank to construct and operate a new facility in Canton.



Stark Community Foundation breaks both grantmaking and fundraising records with $15.3 million in grants awarded and $27.8 million raised.

Total assets surpass $300 million and lifetime grants exceed $200 million.

Stark Community Foundation, United Way of Greater Stark County and The Center for Community Solutions releases Protecting Stark’s Future: A Call to Coordinate Child Poverty Strategies, a research-based report outlining why Stark County needs to intentionally work together to coordinate efforts and target resources to reduce child poverty.


The inaugural Protecting Stark’s Future grants are awarded to organizations addressing child poverty.

The Fred F. Silk Charitable Foundation is transferred to Stark Community Foundation to create the Fred F. Silk Charitable Fund. It’s $16.7 million gift becomes the largest gift in the Foundation’s history.

Stark Community Foundation celebrates record-breaking year of philanthropy with new gifts totaling $48.8 million and 43 new charitable funds created.

Share This Page