Important Announcement

The Polk County Community Foundation is pleased to welcome Sara Bell as its new President & CEO. For more information, please read the press release available here or published by the Tryon Daily Bulletin here.

Supporting Our Community During COVID

The Polk County Community Foundation has adapted to these unprecedented times by distributing significant funding to local nonprofits with longstanding grant history with us. Organizations receiving Board Initiative Sustainability Grants have been evaluated by hundreds of our committee members over decades and have consistently been successful in securing Foundation grants to benefit our community. Sustainability grants may be used as each organization sees fit, allowing for last minute pivots due to COVID or any other reason.

From the very first days of the pandemic, our Board of Directors worked quickly to convert existing event-based grants to unrestricted funds and to award new Board Initiative Sustainability Grants to help organizations weather the storm financially. We understand that usual annual fundraising events and normal revenue producing operations have been disrupted. The Foundation has been proactively contacting regular grant recipients in good standing to offer support.

We appreciate the work of our Scholarship Committee, which worked to adapt to a new virtual procedure that enabled us to award nearly $300,000 to the high school Class of 2021. In addition, the Foundation has sought out opportunities to strengthen nonprofits' capacity by awarding Board Initiative grants for solar panel projects and back office operations. Meanwhile, staff continues to administer grant funds established by donors according to their clear wishes and instructions, including on behalf of the 27 nonprofits that have entrusted their funds to the Polk County Community Foundation.

One of the Foundation's greatest strengths is that our grant decisions are made by volunteer committee and board members who are selected based on their deep knowledge of and involvement in the community. Our normal grantmaking process relies on several groups of these volunteers who meet for many hours and days to review written and oral project proposals; a robust operation that is simply not possible during a global pandemic. Unlike other funders, Polk County Community Foundation staff do not make grant decisions and we remain committed to entrusting the wisdom and experience of our dedicated local volunteers. We are grateful to our board for answering the call of our community and approving ongoing funding to support nonprofits and residents throughout Polk County.




Since 1975, the Polk County Community Foundation has been dedicated to advancing philanthropy and improving the quality of life for all citizens in the community centered in and around Polk County, North Carolina. The Foundation receives charitable donations of all sizes from community members and then distributes grants to area nonprofits, awards scholarships to local students, manages endowment funds for local nonprofits, and administers other funds tailored to the specific charitable wishes of individual donors.

We offer a wide range of simple and flexible fund options to help donors meet their philanthropic goals. The Foundation manages permanent endowed funds and non-permanent funds, including charitable remainder trusts, and employs a professional asset manager. Our total assets exceed $60,000,000. We are fortunate that our donors through the years have been generous in their support because community matters.