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Washington County Community Foundation Initiates Charity Governance Certificate Program

Community PILLARS Logo 3

Eighty Four, PA - The Washington County Community Foundation is pleased to announce that it has initiated the Community PILLARS charity governance certificate program to help improve the governance practices of charities in Washington County.

This program builds upon the Foundation’s existing speaker series, which features topics relevant to charitable and other nonprofits, presented by content experts during a one-hour virtual session.  On average, 30 to 50 nonprofit representatives participate in each session.

“We have been pleased with the results of the speaker series, but from our interactions with local charities we knew that a more comprehensive governance training program was needed,” remarked Betsie Trew, President & CEO.

In response to that need, the Foundation developed the Community PILLARS certificate program, to help charity representatives to become Proactive, Impactful, Loyal Leaders who are Accountable, Resourceful, & Strategic.

The PILLARS program provides in-depth educational sessions on six broad governance topics as follows: I. Mission, Strategy & Evaluation, II. Governance & Leadership: Board, Staff & Volunteers, III. Legal Compliance & Ethics, IV. Finance & Operations, V. Fundraising & Resource Development, and VI. Public Awareness & Advocacy. It was modeled after an accreditation tool of the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations.

To provide for the greatest interaction and learning experience, class size is limited to a maximum of 15 participants and sessions are held in person at the Community Foundation offices in Eighty Four. The inaugural PILLARS class was convened in September 2023 and will be completed in November 2023. A new class will be convened each fall. Over time, special grant pools may be provided to charities whose leadership has completed the certificate program.

Pillars group photo

Members of the Class of 2023 include: Sarah Angelo, Resurrection Power; Karen Bennett, Harmony Life Center; Michelle Bruce, Low Cost Spay Neuter/Fix Ur Cat; Emeline Ferguson, WCCF; Amanda Gabeletto, Monongahela Area Library; Megan Hegedus, Domestic Violence Services of Southwestern PA; Traci Liberatore, Bradford House Historical Association; Brandi Miller, Literacy Council of Southwestern PA; Natalie Ross, Healing Bridges; Mark Smith, Mon Valley Academy for the Arts; Kelley Swift, CASA for Kids Inc.; and Tracy Walnoha, Watchful Shepherd.

For more information, please contact the Foundation at 724-222-6330 or