Foundation’s Annual Report Highlights Local Philanthropy in Action


The pastor and leadership at Bethel AME Church in Ardmore.
Image via The Foundation for Delaware County.
The Foundation annual report highlights the nonprofit's ability to tied its philanthropy to community action.

The Foundation for Delaware County, the county’s largest community foundation, has released its latest annual report.

The report demonstrates the Foundation’s ability to connect its philanthropy efforts to community action, utilizing the generous contributions of donors and partners. 

Philanthropy to Action

The report notes that generous individuals have placed their philanthropic vision and assets with the Foundation, which strategically allocates resources, champions causes, fosters collaborations, and “ignites transformative initiatives to respond to the most pressing challenges in our community.”

A specific example is the Robinson Scholarship and Endowment Fund.

The fund was established in 1966 by Bethel AME Church and has been instrumental in nurturing the dreams of young scholars from the Ardmore church who are rewarded scholarships for a two-year or four-year college.

The Foundation manages the fund, handling administrative responsibilities, including contacting recipients and their respective educational institutions and ensuring the disbursement of the scholarship funds. 

Bethel AME also started an endowment fund at the Foundation to ensure the church’s future. The fund directs endowed resources toward sustained operations, enriching programs, and community outreach efforts.

There are several ways to work with the Foundation to leave a lasting impression in the community.

You can contribute to an established fund. There are plenty to choose from, whether you support specific causes or provide flexible resources for use.

You can forge your own legacy by creating a fund in your name or in honor of someone you hold dear.

One example comes from Nick Aponte, a Foundation board member and a member of the grantmaking committee, who has a designated fund set up by him and his wife, Shelly Aponte.

“I started a designated fund with the Foundation because I wanted to continue to support organizations that my wife Shelly and I had given to for years,” he said in the report.

Creating the fund simplified their giving process, and it gave them significant tax advantages.

The fund is simple to maintain and requires minimal work from the Apontes.

“I never considered myself a philanthropist before working with the Foundation. I believe this is a great option for people in the middle — it is easy to get involved,” he said.

The Foundation offers a reasonable starting point to establish a fund, charges low fees, and the fees you pay the Foundation return to the local community.

Community foundations also tend to be more transparent while having a greater impact on their funds.

The Foundation is a great clearing house for vetting the many local nonprofits that are out there.

“As a local organization, the Foundation is in tune with needs as they arise. I have seen firsthand how they respond to unforeseen challenges in the community and rally other funders to collectively address social and health issues,” he said.

“Our annual report is a testament to the collective impact we’ve made together with so many invaluable Delaware County partners over the past year,” said Foundation President Frances M. Sheehan. “This report highlights the stories of the individuals and communities whose lives have been touched by our initiatives and the people and organizations who contribute resources to help us address the challenges we face as a community. “

Sheehan expressed her gratitude for the trust placed in the Foundation by its stakeholders as they look down the road to new opportunities.

In 2024, the Foundation will be expanding its HOPE housing program and introducing its first Delco Gives Day in May, she said. 

You can learn more about Delco Gives Day here.

More information to come on Delco Gives Day soon. Find out more about the Foundation’s activities.

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