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Chairman's Message

June 26, 2023 | By E. Alex Paris

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E. Alex Paris, Chairman of the Board

Serving as Chairman of the Board of the Washington County Community Foundation has enabled me to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the Foundation’s charitable work as a grantmaker, fundraiser, donor service organization, and a community leader.

In the grantmaking area, we were very pleased to award over $3.6 million in grants in 2022. A significant component of our overall grantmaking was for capacity-building grants which seek to increase a nonprofit’s operational, programmatic, financial, or organizational maturity. This emphasis on capacity-building grants will remain a priority area for us as we have seen how transformational previous grants have been.

In the fundraising area, contributions totaled more than $3.2 million for the year. For organizations like the Washington County Community Foundation which focus their fundraising efforts on building a growing endowment for the community, the unfavorable market conditions in 2022 were a challenge and resulted in an overall decrease in our grantmaking endowment. However, continual adherence to our Investment Policy, which calls for a diversified investment portfolio, served us well during a difficult investment year.

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Since we launched our capacity-building grant initiative in late 2017, more than $4.4 million has been issued to increase the capacity of local nonprofits.

In the donor service area, we assisted donors in creating seven new permanent funds with diverse charitable purposes. The African American Community Fund will benefit African Americans in Washington County. Richard and Regina Beinhauer will periodically recommend grants from the donor advised Beinhauer Family Fund.

The Betty Drach Internship Fund will provide grants to area nonprofits to provide a monetary stipend to students who are working for the nonprofit and are enrolled in a post-secondary education program. Grants from the Charles, Mary & Adda May Johnson Fund will support programs addressing food insecurity, vision services, or craniofacial disorders.

A committee of donors will recommend grants from the GIVE Washington County Fund which was initiated by the EQT Foundation. Grants from the Jacie Alexa Academic Fund will be provided to Trinity Area School District to assist financially needy students of Trinity High School with preparing for, or gaining access to, post-secondary education.

And the Jean McStea Phelan Fund will provide grants to the Church of the Covenant, Citizens Library, Muskingum University, and the Washington Hospital Foundation.

The diversity of these fund purposes illustrates the flexibility of the Foundation to assist donors

in creating funds to support the causes for which they are most passionate. You may read more about these new funds on the Foundation’s website at

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Bringing Good People and Good Causes Together.

In the community leadership area, significant progress was made during the year to secure the necessary funding for our newest leadership project, the Community Snapshot. Our signature leadership project, WCCF Gives, celebrated a 10-year anniversary and surpassed $10,000,000 in cumulative grants in 2022!

One of the elements of the position I enjoy most is having the opportunity to recognize community leaders who are making a difference. I had the honor of presenting several Community Foundation awards to outstanding members of our community.

It was a good year for the Foundation, made possible by the generosity of our many donors, the support of our community, and the dedication of our Board and Staff. We look forward to continued progress in the coming year.

E. Alex Paris, Chairman of the Board