Our Foundation

About Us

Barberton Community Foundation

Barberton Community Foundation has been committed to improving the quality of life for Barberton residents since 1996, through the continual giving power of the original endowment and through funds established by donors with their hearts focused on Barberton.

As a 509(a)(3) public charity, Barberton Community Foundation partners with community stakeholders, donors, and charitable organizations to improve the quality of life for Barberton residents by maximizing the strategic impact of charitable contributions.

Our Role

Everyone has a role to play in helping to build our community, making Barberton an even better place to live now and for generations to come. Our role is to help you and improve the quality of life for the citizens of Barberton. It’s our role to connect potential donors – and their charitable interests and resources – with local needs. We do this by managing and investing a variety of funds that individuals, families and organizations have established with us. From those funds, grants and scholarships are made to address local needs right here in Barberton.

All of the assets gifted to the Foundation remain in the community and will have a direct and lasting impact in Barberton for generations to come.

We are not specifically affiliated with the local government, school district, or health system of Barberton, but rather are an organization working to support community nonprofits, civic initiatives, and educational system that help build a stronger and better Barberton.

Mission & Vision

Strengthening the Barberton Community

The mission of Barberton Community Foundation is to strengthen the Barberton community for current and future generations by providing leadership, fostering collaboration, and creating a legacy of giving to do good.

An Improved Quality of Life

We envision an improved quality of life for Barberton residents, now and forever.

We strive to fulfill our mission by:

  • Supporting the City of Barberton, Barberton School District and public health
  • Encouraging private giving for public good
  • Serving as a catalyst and resource to effectively respond to community needs
  • Building and maintaining endowments to respond to changing community needs
  • Strengthening local nonprofits to achieve their missions
  • Fostering strong relationships with corporations, nonprofits, and individuals

Strategic Plan

Barberton Community Foundation believes that in order to achieve our mission and vision, we must have clearly defined goals and strategies.

We are pleased to share with you Barberton Community Foundation’s 2011-2020 Strategic Plan. The Foundation’s Board of Directors developed this plan with significant input from our Friends of the Foundation, community members, stakeholders, and city leaders. We wanted to determine how we could best deliver on our core purpose: to improve now and forever the quality of life for Barberton residents. One year later, this plan has already helped us improve our focus to the community. By using the plan as a lens to refine grant-making investments, services to donors, and our own operations, it continues to be an effective guide for our work.


Each year our board and staff work to develop goals and strategies that drive our work for the year ahead. We are intentional about the actions we take, with plans that are specific, measurable and informed by data and results from prior efforts.

We see the strategic plan as a guide to each step of our planning, in each year of our service to the community. It helps us manage the Foundation, enhance our grant-making, our investing, our donor services, our leadership, our role as a unique resource in the community, our mission to inspire “giving to do good”, as well as a mandate to steward our resources for perpetuity.

To deliver our mission and realize our vision, we have committed to four areas of focus which, together with our values, will be used as filters for developing, dedicating, and measuring the impact of BCF resources.

Economic Development

To create growth and wealth for our community, we know that Barberton must build its economic base into a resilient economy. A strong economic base will create the financial sustainability necessary to provide quality schools, parks, infrastructure, public services, neighborhoods and jobs.

The global landscape brings increased opportunities, but also increases competitiveness in industries that are changing dramatically, strengthening some sectors, while weakening others.

We have an obligation to take a comprehensive view of that which will attract and retain economic development opportunities and new residents. We will work with the City of Barberton and Barberton Community Development Corporation (BCDC) to create a road map for economic development. We need to provide leadership and collaborate with stakeholders for relevant initiatives that will advance our economic base and are committed to doing so.

We recognize that we have several acres of brown fields and an increasing reliance on our core business stakeholders. Many of our key entrance corridors are neither inviting nor attractive and need to be improved. Many of our traditional industries have transformed, consolidated, gone offshore, or disappeared entirely, taking jobs and investment with them. We must make our community attractive, identify and remove barriers to innovation, redevelop our old industrial sites, create quality green field sites for development, prepare our workforce, create effective incentives to nurture higher technology businesses, improve our marketing, and nurture our existing businesses.

Educational Excellence

A quality education and a concentration of highly skilled people are key drivers towards achieving Barberton’s economic success. After all, communities prosper by virtue of their people. For generations, many Barberton residents worked in middle-class jobs that did not require high levels of skill or technical knowledge. Today, with higher technologies in the work place and the increasing forces of global competition, many residents are unemployable for higher paying jobs that demand higher education.

Quality jobs for the uneducated are rapidly disappearing. It is not that some low-skill jobs do not exist; it is that our citizens who hold them are not likely to enter or to remain in the middle class. They are not likely to have access to quality health care, to save for retirement or to assure their children access to higher education. The driving force to improve our residents’ quality of life will be achieving a quality and relevant educational experience.

Completing some form of higher education or specialized training credentials is now critical for reaching the middle class. The knowledge economy requires our residents and our students, not just those in K-12 but also our adult students, to achieve higher education and skills-based training credentials. They need to be equipped to achieve a higher education that is personally enriching, leads to career and entrepreneurial paths that create wealth, and is delivered with excellence.

Community Image

Our image or brand can be defined as what people say about us when we’re not around. There was tremendous consensus and great cause for concern during the strategic planning process that Barberton suffers from a negative image within the region, which is largely undeserved – considering our strengths. We must identify the issues and work aggressively towards tangible, measurable results so that our image and brand increasingly become positive.

Our image is an impression that is a combination of emotional and intellectual reactions to all the different experiences, marketing communications and behaviors people have encountered about the place we call home: Barberton. Our self-image – as well as what people think or are saying about us – should matter, because it affects our ability to be a healthy, strong community. Our community’s image helps consumers (residents, businesses and tourists) distinguish Barberton from other cities in the marketplace.

In order to successfully attract, retain and expand capital investment in our community, we must change people’s perception of it. We must make every effort to build upon our strengths, remedy our negatives, and sell ourselves within the region. We need to impact beliefs by providing new information and perspectives, creating a new brand, and to take tactical steps to change our quality of place. We can do this if we take a leadership role, collaborate with the city, the schools, and our key stakeholders; take the action steps to make a difference; and support relevant initiatives through our grants and investments.

Social Services

Some of our residents are in great need of social services. A number of them are elderly, disabled, living on fixed incomes, unemployed, or their life circumstances are extremely challenging. Their quality of life is under duress and for some, the barriers to achieving sustainable lifestyles can be overwhelming. We must be responsive to those in the community who may need social services and when possible, provide resources for social programs that promote sustainable life paths. We need to work with agency providers to strengthen their ability to deliver services and leverage our funding resources to assist them.


To ensure Barberton Community Foundation’s long-term effectiveness in contributing to positive community change and results in these areas, we have established the following goals for our organization:

  • Focus on grant-making, Program Related Investments (PRI), and budgeting in the four focus areas.
  • Measure and evaluate results of grants, PRI, and budgeted Barberton Community Foundation initiatives.
  • Communicate results to our community to achieve maximum impact.

Primary objective: To achieve our goals, we will use best practices to sustain operational excellence.


Focus-area grant, PRI, and budget priorities for the coming years:

  • Create opportunities for technology-based economic development
  • Raise the bar for educational achievement expectations of students and parents
  • Increase educational opportunities
  • Facilitate creation of high-quality jobs
  • Build income and real estate tax base
  • Engage business and institutional community with the students
  • Build and enhance brand and image of Barberton, schools and the Foundation
  • Attract and retain highly skilled and young professionals
  • Enhance attractiveness and connectivity of Lake Anna, our downtown, our entrance corridors, and our neighborhoods
  • Support nonprofit social services that empower people and help those in greatest need
  • Market community events to the region
  • Build place-making connections

Updating the Plan

It is important to recognize the impact that the Foundation has made in Barberton. The strategic plan for 2019-2023 marks the beginning of a new chapter in how we direct our resources. While we will certainly continue managing our funds for perpetual use, our spending will be linked to a more focused collective impact community strategy.

See the plan by clicking here.

The purpose is to do the most good possible with what we have, through the most effective and sustainable pathways available, to strengthen our community now and forever.

Our next steps will involve working with the community to develop the collective impact model. If we manage wisely, properly set the stage, measure and monitor our results, and invest more in sustainable projects, the next generation of Foundation work will present transformational opportunities beyond measure for our community.

Onward to the future.


Barberton Community Foundation was established in 1996 as a 509(a)(3) public charity as a way to strengthen the community through the continually giving power of an endowment. In November of 1996, the citizens of Barberton overwhelmingly supported turning an original $75 million in funds and securities from the sale of Barberton Citizen Hospital into a permanent endowment, allowing the funds to continue giving over time. Since its inception, Barberton Community Foundation has awarded over 2,500 grants and scholarships totaling more than $78 million and invested over $12 million more to promote job creation, neighborhood improvements and educational opportunities within Barberton.

Formation of the Foundation

In 1995, senior management and the Board of Trustees of Barberton Citizens Hospital were concerned with the hospital’s ability to compete, long-term, with other hospitals in the area. The Board elected to sell the hospital to a group consisting of Tennessee’s Quorum Health Group, Inc. (95%), Cleveland Clinic Foundation (2 ½%) and Summa Health System (2 ½%) and a letter of intent to sell was signed on June 14, 1996. The new owners would be given the right to continue using the name “Barberton Citizens Hospital” and the original hospital company would remain a legal entity by changing its name to Tuscora Park Company. (Read more about the formation of the Tuscora Park Health and Wellness Foundation).

Before the sale could be completed, agreements made in 1949 and 1951 between the City of Barberton and the hospital needed resolution. These agreements provided that proceeds from the sale of the hospital would revert to the City of Barberton.

While spending the sum of the sale’s proceeds would have greatly benefited the City in the short term, many recognized the opportunity to secure this money in a way that the community of Barberton could benefit from it for many generations to come. The City, the hospital, as well as certain individuals within the community, purposed the money pass to a newly created community foundation, which would secure the funds in a permanent endowment. An endowment would allow for the foundation to grant money from the profits of the investments, instead of from the original principal.

Given that the original agreements were made by the City on behalf of the citizens of Barberton, the issue of amending the 1949 and 1951 agreements was given to the citizens of Barberton in November 1996. They voted overwhelmingly to amend the agreements, authorizing the money from the sale to be endowed in the new Barberton Community Foundation.

The first grant made by the Foundation was on February 2, 1997. The Foundation Board voted to fund the $32 million necessary to build an entirely new facility for the Barberton High School. This grant was contingent on the citizens of Barberton approving a $32 million bond issue, which they did.

Since 1996, Barberton Community Foundation has awarded over 3,400 grants and scholarships totaling more than $82 million and invested over $22 million more to promote job creation, neighborhood improvements and educational opportunities within Barberton.

Barberton Community Foundation