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TOLEDO, OH, December 4, 2019 – When a group of committed, charitable people come together, combine their resources, engage their collective brain power and collaborate with experts, the results can be far greater than one person acting alone.

That’s the idea behind Greater Toledo Community Foundation’s Spark program, a customized experience designed to develop the next generation of young community philanthropists. Approximately 50 people attended the kickoff event where they were asked to join the first cohort, Spark 2020, which requires a personal investment of $750. After a year-long commitment, the hope is that this group will award one local nonprofit organization a grant.

The experience will include a workshop led by two community leaders, “Philanthropic Passions Meet Community Needs,” presentations from local nonprofits vying for Spark
grant dollars, a site visit to the chosen nonprofit, and exploration of philanthropic models and strategies that create change.

Perhaps more important than the grant awarded will be the learning and engagement that happens when a group of caring individuals come together for an in-depth look at area organizations.

The added benefit that comes from getting others actively involved in meaningful work can help break the stereotype that donors must be wealthy to be involved in giving. Combining the power of committed smaller gifts from people with similar interests can create an impact in the community, says Keith Burwell, president of Greater Toledo Community Foundation, who is working with the Spark committee members.

“There are people who may take their involvement well beyond the Spark program and have a lasting impact,” Burwell says.

Led by Committee Members Morgan Bayer, James Bingle, Mike George, Tim Hanson, Vanessa Stein and Desmond Strooh, Spark is a customized experience designed to help young community philanthropists ignite their philanthropic passions. As a member of the next generation of philanthropists, individuals will make a measurable impact in our community while being equipped with the tools necessary to create transformative change.

To learn more, visit or contact Vanessa Stein at Greater Toledo Community Foundation, 419.241.5049 or email [email protected].

About Greater Toledo Community Foundation
Greater Toledo Community Foundation is a public charitable organization created by citizens of our community to enrich the quality of life for individuals and families in our area. In existence since 1973, the Foundation has more than 875 funds with assets of approximately $304 million. The Foundation provides philanthropic services for individuals, families, businesses and corporations to meet their charitable giving needs. For more information about Greater Toledo Community Foundation, visit or follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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