We inspire philanthropy, build endowments, impact causes and engage community leaders in Portage County, Ohio.

Please Note: Our 2022 Grant Application Cycle is closed. 

Scholarship Applications are now closed with the exception of the League of Women Voters – Helen Dix Endowed Scholarship which is open until July 15, 2022. 

What is a community foundation?

A Community Foundation is a charitable organization created by and for a community of people. It is supported by local donors and governed by a board of private citizens who work toward the greater good of the citizens in the community. Funds come from a variety of sources, including bequests and living trusts, and are invested in perpetuity. The investment earnings are then distributed to worthy organizations or causes.

How does a community foundation work?

A community foundation is governed by a board of directors of community leaders and is administered by professional staff. Operating expenses are paid from an annual fund fee and from gifts designated by donors to cover foundation operating and program costs.


The purpose of a community foundation is two-fold:

  • To grow endowments that will continually benefit its defined area through grant-making and other charitable activities;
  • To serve those who donate to the endowment by helping them to accomplish their charitable goals.

The Portage Foundation was established in 1997 from the assets realized through the sale of the Greater Portage Area Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice. The Foundation was created to build a permanent source of income to meet community charitable needs and the philanthropic needs for our donors. The Portage Foundation is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) public charity and has more than $8 million in assets.