Guest opinion: Park City Community Foundation embodies philanthropy and community service
Youth Sports Alliance executive director
Thank you, Park City Community Foundation (PCCF) for helping the Youth Sports Alliance (YSA) — and the 165 other nonprofits in our community — to thrive! In a year like none other, you reimagined Live PC Give PC to work within the county health guidelines while still engaging the entire community to give. It’s your leadership of this fundraising favorite, along with efforts to grow community initiatives, and to inspire a more inclusive community, that resulted in you winning the 2020 Utah Philanthropy Day Foundation Spirit of Giving Award.
The Utah Philanthropy Day Foundation Spirit of Giving Award recognizes “a foundation that demonstrates an outstanding commitment to philanthropy and community service by providing direct financial support as well as motivating others to take a leadership role in philanthropic activities.” When the call for nominations went out for this award, it seemed to us at the YSA that the description fit PCCF to a T. In late August, we submitted a nomination detailing their impact on Park City, along with letters of support from Mayor Andy Beerman and Beth Armstrong, executive director of the People’s Health Clinic, to help tell PCCF’s story. Coincidentally, we received notification that they won the award during a PCCF grant award reception on Zoom in mid-September.
PCCF is unique among foundations in that it provides support and leadership to allow a diverse rural community to prosper by spearheading initiatives and dialogue among nonprofits, donors and the community at large. They provide educational roundtables and networking opportunities for nonprofit employees, and grant funding in specific issue areas, such as the Women’s Giving Fund (WGF). That fund was established with the goal of recruiting 1,000 women to donate $1,000 each to launch an endowment to help women and children in Summit County. The WGF provides a high-impact grant every year to support an initiative proposed by a local nonprofit. Grant requests are winnowed down through a rigorous screening process involving community members until there are three finalists that are then voted on by the WGF membership. YSA was a finalist for this grant twice and a semifinalist three times. However, PCCF does more than award grant money. They run a series of innovative roundtables designed for differing groups within nonprofit organizations: executive directors, staff members, board members and key volunteers. These roundtables provide a place for nonprofits to collaborate and learn from one another. Most importantly, it inspires different employees within organizations to develop in their own positions to have a greater impact within the community.
PCCF grows community initiatives. A few years ago, they launched the Solomon Fund to address barriers that keep Latinx children in our community from participating in sport and recreational activities. The fund addresses communication, transportation and equipment/gear issues to encourage levels of participation by Latinx children that reflect their demographic makeup in the community. This funding is critical to support YSA’s own programs. We find that when we offer transportation, one in five students is a scholarship student. That number drops to one in 19 for our programs that do not offer transportation. The Solomon Fund, year over year, helps underwrite our programs that teach children to ski, mountain bike, ice skate and so much more.
PCCF inspires an inclusive community. Two years ago, PCCF partnered with Park City Municipal to identify existing social equity gaps. The community identified housing, education and inclusion as the top priorities. They developed a strategic plan to address these inequities. Through this process PCCF inspired local nonprofits, donors, and community leaders to work together to address these important issues in our community.
Thank you, PCCF, for bringing all of us into a conversation to help identify and galvanize support to address critical needs through polls, town halls, education and giving. Thank you for encouraging all of to have a voice for change.
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