Butler County foundations consolidate

Grantmakers in Butler County are getting better organized, while also continuing a legacy of supporting community needs with a summer distribution of more than $1 million.

Local community leaders in Butler County’s Ross Township have created the Ross Community Foundation to support the charitable activities of the Ross community. The foundation has been established as an affiliate of the Hamilton Community Foundation.

At the same time, the board of trustees of the Fairfield Community Foundation announced its affiliation with the Hamilton Community Foundation, effective July 1. This affiliation will enhance charitable services to the Fairfield community by way of additional resources and support from the Hamilton Community Foundation.

John Guidugli

“Our partnerships will allow them to focus on their local leadership, effective grantmaking, fundraising efforts and endowment building,” said John Guidugli, President & CEO of the Hamilton Community Foundation.

Founded in 1951, the Hamilton Community Foundation has the largest collective impact on the quality of life in Hamilton of any organization in the region.

By professionally managing more than 900 individual, family and corporate funds, as well as nonprofit agency endowments, the foundation awards more than $5 million in grants and scholarships annually. As the largest community foundation in Butler County, the Hamilton Community Foundation is a public charity with $140 million in assets.

The Hamilton foundation awarded $863,000 in grants at its June board meeting. The board meets five times per year to award grants to meet the needs of the community. The strategic focus areas for all awards include health, education, community revitalization and quality of life. The board will review requests again in October and December. The foundation also awarded $202,000 in scholarships to 82 local current college students. These annual scholarships assist with college education beyond the first year.

As an affiliate of the Hamilton Community Foundation, the Ross Community Foundation will benefit from centralized professional services, including financial, administrative, marketing, and community insights with the leverage of the national accreditation and tax credit capability the Hamilton Community Foundation provides.

“Our goal is to improve quality of life and strengthen the community of Ross now and for generations to come,” said Martha Mehl, chair of the Ross Community Foundation.

Donations to the Ross Community Foundation will be overseen by the local board made up of Ross residents. The board will evaluate and meet the needs of the local community through grantmaking and education. A community grantmaking fund has been established to provide annual grants supporting nonprofits and community-based organizations. 

Similar expectations of support from the Hamilton foundation led the Fairfield foundation to make the same decision.

“We came to recognize the potential benefits that affiliation with the right partner could bring to the foundation, most significantly being increased resources and a reduction in fees for our donors,” said Doug Robertson, Fairfield Community Foundation chair. “Additionally, the affiliation afforded the Fairfield Community Foundation the support of a high-functioning and experienced administrative staff that would enable our board to spend less time on day-to-day operations of the foundation and more time identifying and focusing on the needs of the greater Fairfield community. After careful consideration, we felt the Hamilton Community Foundation’s expertise and credibility was the best fit for us.”

The Fairfield foundation board will continue to advise and oversee the grants awarded to the greater Fairfield community.

Earlier this summer, the Hamilton foundation launched a new strategic plan, geared toward growing the organization’s significant funders and the number of new funds being managed each year. You can read more about the plan here: https://www.hamiltonfoundation.org/media/about/2022-2024%20Strategic%20Plan%20Brief%20Version(2).pdf

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