The Westchester Community Foundation works to improve the quality of life for all in Westchester by connecting past, present, and future generations with nonprofits working in our area to make a healthy, equitable, and thriving community. We are a division of The New York Community Trust.
A public charity, the Westchester Community Foundation (WCF) is a grantmaking foundation dedicated to improving the lives of residents of Westchester. We bring together individuals, families, foundations, and businesses to build a better community and support nonprofits that make a difference. We apply knowledge, creativity, and resources to the most challenging issues in an effort to ensure meaningful opportunities and a better quality of life for all in Westchester, today and tomorrow.
In 1975, The New York Community Trust, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations, established a Westchester division to provide Westchester County residents with an economical alternative to a private foundation and an efficient vehicle for their philanthropy. Since then, we have granted more than $84,426,212 to nonprofit organizations across the country from hundreds of funds established by our donors. We identify current and future community needs, strengthen the county’s nonprofit sector, encourage philanthropy, and, with our generous donors, build a permanent endowment to address these needs.
Our diverse mix of professionals are experts in philanthropy, investing, and grantmaking. They are committed to helping donors take their vision for Westchester County and transform it into a long-term plan to change our communities for the better.
The Foundation’s Advisory Board oversees its grantmaking and leadership initiatives. They have been selected for their judgment, integrity, and understanding of the role of philanthropy in meeting community needs.
Our financial statements are available here. If you would like copies or have any questions about financial information, contact The Trust.
Community foundations, such as ours, exist to make it easy for people to be philanthropists, and to build an endowment to help meet changing needs over time.
The first community foundation was started in 1914 by a Cleveland banker who felt the practices of the day were needlessly eroding charitable funds. It was expensive to administer charitable trusts in banks, which knew more about investing money than giving it away. And when charitable funds had outlasted their purposes, it was expensive to go to court to make the changes needed for the funds to stay useful.
Today, there are more than 900 community foundations in all 50 states. Some continue to use the original trust model and others are organized as charitable corporations. In addition to building a permanent endowment through wills and bequests, community foundations today offer services to donors during their lifetimes.
What is commonly known as The New York Community Trust is actually two entities: The first, The New York Community Trust, is an unincorporated association of charitable trusts. Each component fund is held in trust by one of our approved bank trustees which has adopted “The Resolution and Declaration of Trust creating The New York Community Trust” (the R&D).
The second, Community Funds, Inc., is a New York State not-for-profit corporation. A fund established in Community Funds does not have a trustee. Charitable funds within Community Funds are invested by money managers retained and overseen by our distinguished Investment Committee.
The two entities are both public charities and file a combined report with the IRS. Both exist for the same essential purpose: to ensure donors’ giving makes the greatest possible difference to their chosen causes.