Photo courtesy of the Community Foundation of Fayette County

The staff of the Community Foundation of Fayette County (CFFC) includes (from left), Lee O’Neil, Hope Kennelty, Renee Couser (executive director), Rebecca Wardle and Glenn Valdiserri.

An organization known for connecting students with scholarships and nonprofits with funding does so through the generosity of community donors.

The Community Foundation of Fayette County (CFFC) was founded in 1999 by a group of county leaders along with three of the region’s largest private foundations — the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the Richard King Mellon Foundation and the McCune Foundation.

The purpose of CFFC is to help define charitable needs, connect donors with causes that matter to them, support nonprofit organizations and invest charitable assets to make the community a better place to live.

“CFFC is best known for our grants and scholarships,” said Renee Couser, CFFC Executive Director. “Our grant-making program provides funding to local nonprofits in a variety of service categories, both during competitive cycles and throughout the year.”

The organization supports the local nonprofit sector by hosting Fayette Gives, a daylong fundraising marathon for local charities. This year was the second for the event. Over the first two years, the program raised more than $600,000 for area nonprofits.

Couser said for Fayette Gives and other programs to continue, the CFFC relies on contributions from donors.

“We work with individuals, families, and businesses to assist them with their charitable giving goals and give back to the community in the most meaningful way possible,” Couser said.

Because the pandemic showed everyone how quickly the world could change, Couser said, CFFC wants to ensure the organization can provide crucial community support in perpetuity.

“CFFC was grateful to remain strong during the pandemic, and we responded by providing emergency funding and masks to local organizations,” she said. “To ensure that we can continue to address the ever-changing needs of the community, CFFC created the Building a Stronger Fayette Endowment to award grants based on the community needs today, tomorrow, and forever.”

Donors can contribute to this fund with a check made payable to CFFC with “Building a Stronger Fayette” in the memo, or by donating online at

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