Community Foundation announces $4 million Giving Spree goal

Adams County Community Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Ralph Serpe has faith in people’s philanthropy.

Last year, Giving Spree donors raised $3.08 million for county non-profit organizations. He was thrilled with the result, which made the Adams County Giving Spree the largest per-capita giving day in the country.

But he thinks we can do better. 

“We can reach at least $4 million at the Giving Spree this year,” Serpe said during the foundation’s annual meeting Thursday at the Gettysburg Hotel. “To accomplish that goal, we need to encourage more donor participation.”

Serpe hopes at least a quarter of that goal will be designated as “forever gifts,” which benefit perpetual endowments earmarked for non-profit organizations.

The Giving Spree will be held Nov. 3 via mail, online or in-person at the Gettysburg Times office, 1570 Fairfield Road. Donors can support up to 92 non-profit organizations or charitable funds with “today gifts” or “forever gifts.” 

The Giving Spree is just one of the many ways the Community Foundation benefits Adams County, Serpe said. Since the organization’s last annual meeting in 2019, 100 new charitable funds have been created at the Community Foundation.

“Each one of those funds represents the interests, the values, and the hopes and dreams of their founders,” Serpe said.

The foundation holds $20 million in assets, a 25 percent increase over the last three years. Serpe touted the foundation’s clean audits and standard of accreditation as reasons donors should feel comfortable supporting its work.

The foundation also supports the @Home in Adams County initiative, which aims to improve housing, transportation and economic development. South Central Community Action Programs leads the initiative with support from the Adams Economic Alliance, Adams County Housing Authority, United Way of Adams County, Healthy Adams County, HACC, and Gettysburg College.

“It’s big, it’s messy, but it’s doing important work,” Serpe said.

Serpe’s short speech hit an emotional high point when he discussed the foundation’s successful effort to outlaw public colleges and universities from decreasing financial aid offers when schools learn how much a student receives from private scholarships. He credited Rep. Dan Moul and Rep. Torren Ecker for championing the legislation.

Since 2020, the Community Foundation has awarded $600,000 in scholarships, including a “welcome back scholarship” that aided a 2005 Fairfield Area High School Graduate who decided to return to school after a learning hiatus.

“I think we all benefit from scholarships that help those who live around us to stay here and move up in what they do,” Serpe said. More information on the Adams County Community Foundation and the Giving Spree is available at www.adamscountycf.org.

Featured image: Adams County Community Foundation President and CEO Ralph Serpe addresses attendees of the organization’s annual meeting on Sept. 29 at Gettysburg Hotel. (Photo by Alex J. Hayes)

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​Alex J. Hayes has spent almost two decades in the Adams County news business. He is passionate about sharing stories focused on the people in our communities and following local governments in an age when few journalists report on their meetings. Alex is also a freelance writer for several other publications in South Central Pennsylvania. Alex encourages readers to contact him at ahayes83@gmail.com.

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