Setting the Community Foundation on a Path to Success

With the announcement that Community Foundation President/CEO Philip Grzewinski retiring in summer of 2019, we thought it would be fitting to highlight some of his experiences and perspectives from his tenure. First up, is his take on some of the Foundation’s early steps to success.


Today, the Community Foundation oversees 225 funds, holds over $50 million in assets, and has distributed over $54 million in grants. Things look a little different when the Foundation was created 17 years ago.


Grzewinski had spent two years working to create the Foundation with a small committee from the United Way of North Central Massachusetts, an organization for which he also served as President/CEO. He says committee members realized early on that in order to succeed, they would need to spend time simply educating people about the Foundation’s distinct mission.


“Wherever we could get two people in a room, we would go out and talk about the importance of community foundations and planned giving. We went to Lions clubs, Rotaries, you name it. We invited non-profits in to talk about the benefits of creating permanent funds. Essentially, we would never pass up a chance to tell our story,” says Grzewinski.


It was a story that appealed to many supporters, particularly those looking for more personalized ways to make a difference.


“With traditional fundraising, you talk to donors about how they fit into an organization’s model of giving, but with planned giving, it’s about what is important to the donor,” “Through the foundation, anyone can create a fund for something they are passionate about,” says Grzewinski. —they“It’s rewarding to see donors can realize their goals and dreams through giving.” says Grzewinski.


Grzewinski additionally credits the generosity on the local community with helping provide the Foundation with a firm start.


“There is definitely a giving gene in this community. People truly care,” says Grzewinski. “I think there are a lot of people who struggled themselves and finally attained a little bit of financial sinew. They remember what it was like when they had less, and they give what they can.”



About the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts


The Foundation supports the community by giving grants and distributions in the areas of health and human services, education, environment, animal welfare and arts and culture.  We are a non-profit organization, dedicated to helping donors establish permanent endowment funds – benefiting the community forever and creating a lasting legacy for fund holders.

P.S. Please be sure to visit our website, and like our facebook page


Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts

Helping donors do good work… FOREVER





649 John Fitch Hwy
Fitchburg, MA 01420


Phone: 978-345-8383
Fax: 978-345-1459
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