The work of the Akron Community Foundation continues to evolve, but the mission remains the same, says John T. Petures Jr., president and CEO at the nonprofit organization.
“Over the last five years, thanks to the generosity of people in the community with added staff in development, marketing and grant making areas, we have invested in backroom infrastructure to create a new website,” Petures says.
“We now have online grant applications so board members and nonprofits can review and scrutinize the applications and in the process, we kill fewer trees. We don’t have binders that are 12 inches wide.”
The goal is to help agencies be both more effective and more efficient in understanding who they serve, what the need is and how that need can best be met.
“When you do it online, you have to say it in an abbreviated way that maybe you didn’t before,” Petures says.
“It utilizes time, space and effort much more productively than ever before. We have an online portal so that donors who have funds with us can now go online and not only give, but grant in the community. They can do that in the convenience of their home. This role we have is a real connector in matching the visions and dreams of fund-holders with the programs that are critically needed in the community. We take that very seriously.”
Petures came to ACF in May 2008 and he’s been busy since day one.
“Last year, we had 6,000 individual transactions and donations that came into the place,” Petures says. “That was an all-time high. We saw grant making back to the nonprofit world of $9.2 million two years ago, which was an all-time record. This past year that ended March 31, we did $9.6 million. That is a credit to the people in the community who realize the importance of giving back.”
In September, the ACF board approved the establishment of the Summit Metro Parks Foundation Endowment Fund. The fund’s $3.5 million establishing gift was one of the largest in the community foundation’s history.
The board also approved grants totaling nearly $3 million, including $2.5 million in grants from 136 designated, donor-advised, agency endowment and scholarship funds. In addition, $478,000 in competitive civic affairs grants chosen by the organization’s Community Investment Committee were approved.
“It’s been a great time of growth and success for us that is only made possible by a community that is so unselfish and giving,” Petures says. ●