The Venango Area Community Foundation was founded on April 30, 1975. The first discretionary fund was created within the Venango Area Community Foundation portfolio on June 1976 by Galena Rew Harrington and Mary E. Rew, both of Franklin, who were two local community volunteers who wanted to make a difference. They started that initial endowment with a gift and trust transfer totaling almost $80,000.

Today that endowment still exists as the oldest continued endowment in Bridge Builders Community Foundations’ portfolio, and distributes approximately $5,000 annually to local causes every year.

The Venango Area Community Foundation changed its name to Bridge Builders Community Foundations in 2006 and created affiliates to serve the Venango, Clarion, and Forest counties to leverage assets, fund management, and giving.

It took a long time to evolve as a community foundation, and to become the umbrella foundation serving our four area affiliates.

Through economic upturns and downturns, staff changes, and social impact over the years we have been able to uphold our values and stay true to what we were founded on over 40 years ago.

The hope of a better, stronger community.

Our Vision:

Bridge Builders Community Foundations will generate growth and progress in our communities by actively engaging individuals and organizations through transformative philanthropy.


Striving for excellence in all that we do, Bridge Builders Community Foundations builds relationships based on loyalty to donor intent and a commitment to community growth. As the guardians of individual legacies and stewards of organizational endowments, Bridge Builders Community Foundations ensures that resources invested today will develop potential and will fulfill future needs. The Foundation empowers everyone to be a philanthropist!