135 E. Washington Row 
Making a place to gather and grow

In 2015 the Erie County Community Foundation  (ECCF)  celebrated its 2 0 th  year of 'big ideas . '   A community foundation is a  convener  of donors , activists  and facilitators ,  all of whom have  a passion for place  and a desire to make a difference  in our community .
Renovations underway at E. Washington

The Foundation 's tearing into its latest idea in 2017 with renovations at 135 E .  Washington Row.  When the ECCF office  building  changed  ownership last year,  the Foundation saw  not just  an opportunity to  rethink its  location,   but an opportunity to make an impact.

O n Thursday o ur    11th Day Development Highlight     detailed the energy felt across Downtown Sandusky .  Much progress has been made, but  preserving historic infrastructure requires consistent investment, maintenance and redevelopment .  The Foundation's project  seeks to do just this on Washington  Row , a  highly visible area when people enter the neighborhood.

Their project will involve substantial  facility  renovations of  $700,000 to transform  8,000  s q. f t . and the building exterior.  The end product will create space for the Foundation and two other nonprofits , extending their development and capacity to complete their mission .  The building is envisioned as a true community resource with collaborative, professional meeting spaces  and   technology  available  for public use - "a place for the community to gather and grow . "  
JHI renderings of the ECCF office to open in June 2018
A unifying space is yet another way the Foundation will  convene this  community.   At its core, a community foundation is created and steered by members of that community.  Individuals and companies of any means and interest can participate with a gift to  a   c o m m u n i t y   foundation.  Their tools and grant making can help anyone achieve  charitable giving goals.  Their assets are managed by a capable staff and board of advisors so that gifts will make a forever impact in th e  community.  In just 22 years, the Erie County Community Foundation has grown to $24M in assets, gifting close to $1M per year in grants and scholarships. 

In its lifetime, the Foundation has distributed almost $19M through scholarships and grants to area nonprofits working to improve the quality of life in Erie County.  There is not a person or place in Erie County that has not been impacted by the generosity of the Foundation's donors and stewards.  We look forward to completion of their latest project in Downtown Sandusky and the positive change it will bring to nonprofits and the community alike.     

Abbey Bemis, Executive Director
Special Announcement
The year-end holidays are a time of reflection that inspire many people to reach out to those in need  in our community .    In  the spirit   of "Thanksgiving" and  in honor  of their 22 nd  anniversary, t he Erie County Community Foundation led a holiday countdown of their own this November.   The Foundation visited  22  non-profit  organizations  over 22 days to deliver  a $1,000 grant  and show gratitude for the  work  they do to better our  community.   Don't forget to show gratitude this year with a gift to your own favorite nonprofit organization.     Click here if you'd like to learn more about donating to the Foundation or about their #22daysofthanksgiving.
#22daysofthanksgiving visit to Erie County Boys & Girls Club
Northeast Ohio is known for pioneering philanthropic giving.   In 1914 t he first community foundation was set up in Cleveland  (now  know  as  The Cleveland Foundation ) ,   and the region maintains one of the most active philanthropic networks in the world.   Northeast Ohio  f oundations were also among the first to view economic development as a priority and means to build community prosperity.  Today the Erie County Community Foundation and other community and private foundations in the region utilize their long-term perspective, broad networks, convening power, unique investment resources and deep knowledge of the community to  support strategies that will   generate a local economy that
is widely  shared.

The 12 Days of Development email series recognizes and celebrates another year of progress in Erie County, Ohio.  Each day this week and next you will receive an email spotlight on a company investing, improving and innovating in our community. We can't capture it all, so let us know a neighbor we missed or what activities you've got planned to make the 2018 list!