The Main Street Community Foundation (MSCF) was established by a group of Bristol business leaders and citizens to fulfill a community need – connecting donors with causes they care about through charitable giving, with a specific focus on building permanent endowments which will support these causes in perpetuity. Hap Barnes, one of the original founders, came up with the name “Main Street” and MSCF was formally incorporated on March 17, 1995 and then received a 501(c)3 designation from the IRS that fall.
Now 24 years later, MSCF is a seasoned, vibrant foundation – their mission is simple and straightforward; to enhance the quality of life for both present and future generations in the communities they serve through organized philanthropy. Since 1995, MSCF has carried out the mission and vision as a non-profit community foundation to raise the quality of life in the communities of Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott. Through prudent stewardship of assets, responsive donor services, responsible grant making and community leadership, the community foundation has positively enhanced the lives of the area’s citizens. In 2017, MSCF was reconfirmed in compliance with the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations, the most rigorous standards in philanthropy further demonstrating that the foundation’s operating practices are accountable, ethical and transparent. Funds donated to the foundation are invested and were valued at $41 million as of 12/31/18. Grants and scholarships awarded since the foundation’s inception total more than $17 million. Throughout the foundation’s twenty-four years of growth, there has consistently existed a strong commitment to the core values of excellence, integrity, inclusiveness and transparency in all they do.
To that end, these accomplishments would not be possible without the dedication and passion that the MSCF staff brings to their jobs each day – starting with Susan D. Sadecki, MBA, the President and CEO of MSCF since 2008 who is responsible for leadership and direction to the organization as well as oversight of its programs, operations, and investments. Susan embodies the true spirit and passion for improving the lives of individuals and organizations in the communities MSCF serves. Susan says, “The most fulfilling part of my job is telling donor stories, it is an honor to fulfill their charitable intentions so those that benefit from their generosity are aware of the donor’s legacy. We are here because of and for the donors to encourage local philanthropy.”
For twenty-four years, donors have trusted their charitable intentions with MSCF knowing they will be fulfilled in perpetuity. When asked what is the most fulfilling part of their jobs at MSCF, it was clear that the entire MSCF team plays a vital role in making this happen by working together with an interest in serving donors’ intentions with respect and discretion.
Samantha Rajotte, Scholarship & Program Officer says, “It became clear to me when I started working here how much our communities care and come together to help support one another. The same is true for the entire MSCF team – we are all interested in each other’s well-being, therefore working together as a team to fulfill our donors’ charitable goals, is truly the most fulfilling part of my job every day.”
Kate Kerchaert, Director of Grants & Programs feels that the collaboration to help those in need in the communities MSCF serves is a team effort – working with local organizations to develop resources is a powerful testament of a community that truly cares about each other. She says, “It’s amazing to see the care and pride that people have to want to improve their local community. For me personally, handling the immediate response requests and seeing the collaboration it takes to help with a hand up is the most fulfilling part of my job.”
Rhonda Pilkington, Accountant said, “Being able to see the benefits of donors’ generosity at work and how we give back to the communities is the most fulfilling part of this job for me.”
MSCF plays a leadership role in learning about issues and emerging needs in each of the communities it serves in order to best connect donors to the most pressing needs of each community. Mindy Wallen, Program Associate and the newest member of the MSCF team said, “Connecting the dots – being able to convene donors and community organizations – is part of the important work we do at MSCF.”
Julie Matthews, Administrative Assistant provides overall administrative support for the MSCF staff and is a source of information for donors and the community. Julie sees all aspects of how the community benefits from fulfilling the charitable goals of MSCF donors and says, “Everything we do here at MSCF has an impact on our communities and we all play a part – in a small or big way – in helping to make someone’s life better.”
MSCF is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors whose responsibility is to serve as ambassadors and policy makers for the Foundation. The Board of Directors plays an integral role in making sure that MSCF remains a permanent resource of assets to maintain a healthy and vibrant community in all aspects, which includes but is not limited to: community development, education, health, human services, youth development, arts and culture, environment, animal welfare and historical preservation.
Want to learn more about what a community foundation is and why it is an anchor institution of the local community? Visit the “Community Foundation 101” page of the MSCF’s website:
In 2020, MSCF will celebrate its 25th anniversary. A celebration is being planned for September 12, 2020 so that the community can come together to reflect on all that the Foundation has accomplished as well as look forward at all the initiatives MSCF will support in the future. Anyone wishing to be part of the 25th anniversary celebration, may contact Susan Sadecki at the Foundation: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 860-583-6363.