Benton Community Foundation

BCF was founded in 1953 by visionaries dedicated to helping children of Benton County, Oregon. Robert Johnson, then owner and publisher of the Corvallis Times, donated $1,000 to the newly minted charity. Mr. Johnson’s gift of $1,000 together with a gift from the Corvallis Rotary Club of $1,500 allowed the foundation to begin operating in 1954. 

For the first sixty years, BCF was known as The Benton County Foundation.  In 2014, the Board of Directors voted to change the name of the foundation to Benton Community Foundation ("BCF") to better reflect the foundation's role. 

What is a Community Foundation?  Community foundations are grantmaking public charities dedicated to improving the lives of people in a defined local geographic area. They bring together the financial resources of individuals, families, clubs, secular and non-secular associations and businesses to support effective charitable activities in their communities. 

As a community foundation, BCF has four primary responsibilities:

  • Builder and caretaker of permanent community resources
  • Service provider to donors
  • Grant maker
  • ​Convener, catalyst, and collaborator within the community 

BCF has performed well as builder and caretaker of permanent community resources.  

From our humble beginning asset base of $2,500 in 1954, we now have net assets in excess of eighteen million dollars.  About 63% of our net assets are endowed, meaning that only the income of the gift is expended for charitable purposes; the principal remains intact in perpetuity.

We also continue to strive for excellence in the service we provide to our donors.

BCF is your partner in philanthropy. We are always available to help you shape your giving strategy, learn more about issues facing our region, or simply to help you become more familiar with our local charities.  By partnering with us, you have opportunity to:

  • Learn about emerging issues, trends and best practices
  • Closely examine the charities you wish to support
  • Develop a plan to maximize the impact of your charitable giving
  • Involve your family, friends or co-workers
  • Connect with fellow donors
  • Enjoy simple, flexible, high-impact grant making without administrative responsibilities
  • Grow your charitable funds through our pooled investment account

We are increasing our impact in grant making.  

This year to date, we have committed over $600,000 in charitable grants and scholarships.  Our goal is to increase our annual grants to one million dollars by the year 2020.

We are increasing our capacity as an effective convener, catalyst, and collaborator within the community. 

BCF's Board and staff are taking a more active role in in the leadership of collaborative, community-wide projects.  

For more information about who we are and what we do take a look at our Board of Directors and Staff pages. Explore Our Funds to learn more about the history of the funds and who they benefit in our community. If you have additional questions please don’t hesitate to stop by the office or contact us via phone at (541) 753-1603 or email!