The Luzerne Foundation is a community foundation, but what does that mean? According to the Council of Foundations, a national organization to which The Luzerne Foundation belongs:
“ A community foundation is a tax-exempt, nonprofit, autonomous, publicly supported, nonsectarian philanthropic institution with a long term goal of building permanent, named component funds established by many separate donors to carry out their charitable interests and for the broad-based charitable interest of and for the benefit of residents of a defined geographic area, typically no larger than a state.”
In simple terms – we are a philanthropic leader, a community resource and a financial steward. The Luzerne Foundation supports donors with their charitable giving, helping them invest strategically in causes they care about and in ways that make a difference in our community. However, unlike other organizations, a community foundation is focused on developing funds that will live on in perpetuity providing support to the community for generations to come.
Supporting Key Community Areas
Our mission is to enhance the lives of the people living in our community. We do this by supporting seven key areas that together support a healthy and sustainable community: Social Services, Education and Scholarships, Arts and Culture, Neighborhoods and Community Development, Youth Issues, Historic Preservation and the Environment, and Health and Wellness.
Traditionally, this has meant assisting donors of all kinds in creating funds. These include Unrestricted Funds, Donor-Advised Funds, Field of Interest Funds, Designated Funds, Scholarship Funds and Organizational Endowments. We work with individuals, families, companies, nonprofits and professional advisors to discuss the various ways to give and provide information about existing funds or local nonprofits that may fit their charitable giving goals as well.
Education and Resources
As a philanthropic leader in our community, it is also our mission to offer quality information and resources. The knowledgeable professional staff at The Luzerne Foundation has access to national and regional organizations through which almost any donor question can be addressed.
Additionally, we provide educational seminars covering trends in philanthropy, legislative changes and other pertinent topics free of charge to the community. By partnering with other local organizations such as The Nonprofit & Community Assistance Center (NCAC) and Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), respected experts in the field will make their way to our community.
Conversations and Collaborations
The Luzerne Foundation has always acted as a catalyst to bring diverse groups together to address local needs and foster greater giving. The Foundation is in a unique position to reach out across the community to facilitate the process of collaboration. Our extensive knowledge of needs and of the nonprofit organizations working to address them naturally makes The Foundation a logical clearing house to promote efficient use of resources and effective communication. Together we can do so much more.
Here For Good.
Established in 1994, The Luzerne Foundation is a force for philanthropy in our community. To date over $145 million in grants has been distributed to nonprofit organizations and over 350 funds have been created. With over $38 million in assets The Foundation is positioned to do good today and tomorrow.
We will continue to grow. We will continue our outreach. With your help, we will continue to identify needs and form collaborations.
We are….Here For Good.
COF National Standards
The Luzerne Foundation works continually to maintain the highest philanthropic standards for operational quality, integrity an accountability.
The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations Program, based in Arlington, VA, requires community foundations to document their policies for donor services, investments, grantmaking and administration. With over 500 community foundations in 49 states already confirmed in compliance nationwide, the program is designed to provide quality assurance to donors, as well as to their legal and financial advisors.
The National Standards addresses five key areas of community foundation operations: Structure and Governance; Resource Development; Accountability; Grantmaking; Community Engagement.