About

HISTORY of the Scranton Area Foundation

The Scranton Area Foundation was established as a community trust by the Scranton Family. Their initial gift was the seed which has grown into a permanent vehicle for donors to accomplish their philanthropic goals while helping to support positive change in our community.

The original architects of what was then known as The Scranton Foundation, thoughtfully and intentionally incorporated broad provisions into the trust to ensure that both short and long-term needs of the community would be addressed for years to come.

The Scranton Foundation incorporated Area into its name in 1970, and in 1988 received official IRS designation as a public community foundation. In 1998, the Foundation converted from a trust to a corporation, the Scranton Area Foundation, Inc.

The Foundation accepts and administers donor’s gifts and bequests and, as a community foundation, is able to provide the maximum tax advantage to donors. Through its many donors, the Foundation has contributed significantly to the vitality of the Scranton area, while offering donors value and stability. In addition, the Foundation often acts as a catalyst for change and convenes diverse groups to consider and take action on community issues.

Today the Scranton Area Foundation holds and manages a variety of funds from individuals, organizations, and corporations. Through these gifts, the Foundation responds to community needs and opportunities with grants in such diverse fields as health, education, arts, environment, human services, and civic affairs.

FOUNDATION Facts

Important Dates

1914: First U.S. community foundation established in Cleveland, Ohio

1954: The Scranton Area Foundation began as a private foundation and was designated as a public community foundation in 1988.

Today: Over 700 community foundations in the United States

Our Vital Statistics

As a Resource
For over 60 years the Foundation has been providing donors with a flexible, low cost, professionally managed mechanism to accomplish individual charitable goals. The Foundation provides a source for your charitable contributions that will affect the well-being of our community.  Funds established today at the Scranton Area Foundation will provide an essential stream of income decades ahead to meet the needs of a changing community.

A PowerPoint presentation included in this section is an overview of the general programs and services of the Foundation and illustrates its flexibility in responding to the charitable wishes and intent of many donors in our community.

It is through the Foundation that donors may accomplish their philanthropy and help to create a permanent legacy which also provides for the present.

If we may be of assistance, please let us know.

As a Steward
As a trusted steward for your charitable contributions, the Foundation has adopted a total return policy in an effort to maintain or increase the true value of endowment and its distributions to the community now and in the future. By utilizing a total return policy more return will come from capital appreciation rather than only current income of permanent funds.

Each year the Board of Governors and its Investment Committee establishes a spending percentage of its asset base. This amount may be more or less than actual income from dividends and interest. A total return policy means that interest, dividends and capital appreciation are considered as a single amount in the fund.

The spending rate holds spending in check through lucrative years, and enables spending in less productive years. Thus, donors funds are being managed to provide a balance between current and future community needs and opportunities. Investment decisions can be based on flexible long-term strategies which are not subject to sudden changes in interest rates or market value. Grant recipients and the community will be able to count on funds from their community foundation which will be made available for distribution based not only on changes in current investment income.

As a Grantmaker
Today the Scranton Area Foundation holds and manages a variety of funds from individuals, organizations, and corporations. Through these gifts, the Foundation responds to community needs and opportunities with grants in such diverse fields as health, education, arts, environment, human services, and civic affairs.

The Scranton Area Foundation makes grants to foster good ideas which have the potential to strengthen our community and enrich the lives of the people of Scranton and Lackawanna County.

Organizations which serve the needs of residents in Lackawanna County are encouraged to keep the Foundation informed of their programs and services and to share their ideas about addressing community needs and opportunities.

In making grants, the Scranton Area Foundation seeks programs and projects which advance one or more of the following objectives:

The application process begins with a Letter of Intent (LOI) submitted via email to cathyf@safdn.org. Letters of Intent may be submitted at any time. Applicants invited to submit a full application will be notified by SAF and assigned login credentials to access the online application through the SAF Website. For Grant Opportunities and Deadlines, click here.

As a Catalyst
We strive to be a community resource, as well as a catalyst for change and growth.  We provide the channel for the people of the community to help one another and we endeavor to raise awareness, increase giving, and create a “Culture of Giving” within our community.

By providing leadership, encouraging philanthropy, and constructing permanent resources in our community, we are the mechanism for an improved life for the residents of Lackawanna County

We work to strengthen local nonprofits in fundamental ways, by offering a variety of programs to help build their capacity and organizational structure.