At the close of 2021, we were encouraged as after nearly two years the international COVID pandemic waned and lightness emerged. Thanks to donors, past and present, The Erie Community Foundation continued to respond to changing needs through emergency funding, steady Helping Today grants, major Shaping Tomorrow grants and multiyear Transformational Philanthropy work.
The year 2021 marked significant growth and momentum at the Foundation, where Trustees welcomed a new President & CEO. Thanks to a generous donation of property, the physical campus continued to grow with renovations to the Lowry House at 453 West 6th Street. Once completed, this building, constructed in 1889, will be a beautiful addition to the West Sixth Street Historic District and the Foundation’s campus.
Throughout the year, the Foundation awarded 2,435 grants valued at $26,315,173. Donors contributed 32,288 gifts totaling $19,300,141. Erie Gives amazed us once again, breaking all records by raising $7,057,176 in just 12 hours for 438 nonprofits. The Foundation closed the year with assets of $365,579,155, consisting of 900 charitable endowments, solidifying charitable giving for generations to come.
We are grateful for the charitable individuals and families who are a beacon of light for local nonprofits, supporting these resilient and responsive organizations through Donor Advised and Designated Funds. We are proud of the “We Believe in Erie Fund,” designed to shine a light on longstanding inequities and bridge the gaps of economic and racial divides. Transformational grants in support of the newly established Erie Downtown Development Corporation, Erie County Community College, community schools and neighborhood reinvestment projects continue to brighten our community.
As you will read in this report, grants spark like a firework, ignite a flame like kindling wood or simply provide a nightlight in the darkness to make our community radiantly healthier. Richard Evans sums up illumination best; “It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars.”
Thank you for all you do to make our community brighter!