Gr. Lowell Community Foundation
LOWELL -- The Greater Lowell Community Foundation is way more than just Lowell.
In fact, 50 percent of the money the foundation raises comes from outside the city. However, considering the significant number of nonprofits and needs in the city, only 25 percent of expenditures have gone outside Lowell.
“We want to impact the communities outside Lowell as well,” said Greater Lowell Community Foundation President and CEO Jay Linnehan last week. “We want to engage these communities, and see what we can do to help them.”
The foundation has made strides with this suburb initiative in the last few years, including with funds in Westford and Chelmsford.
Linnehan said he looks forward to discussing this progress, along with other initiatives, at the foundation’s annual Celebrate Giving event on Wednesday.
This year, the event will take place in Dracut, partly because of the suburb goal, Linnehan said.
“Over time, we need to go into more of the communities that the foundation serves,” said Chet Szablak, chair of the foundation’s board of directors.
The annual event celebrates philanthropy in the community. The guest speaker is City Manager Eileen Donoghue. Student scholarship recipients will also tell their stories.
The foundation works by awarding scholarships and grants to a range of causes from donors from across the area.
Education is a key focus for the foundation, Linnehan said.
“I’m of the belief that education is a way to go about addressing a variety of ills that face our society,” he said.
“We’re trying to engage young folks with leadership and civic engagement,” Linnehan added.
The foundation has also focused on assisting those in their battle against the opioid epidemic.
The foundation’s endowment fund over 20 years is about $38 million. They give out about $1.8 million per year.
The Celebrate Giving event at Lenzi’s in Dracut will go from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday.
Follow Rick Sobey on Twitter @rsobeyLSun.