Community Foundations to Celebrate 50th Anniversary at Garden Party

Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley is pleased to announce that it will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Sunday, September 22nd at the Mashomack Preserve in Pine Plains. The theme of the event will mark the organization’s path From Founders to the Future. The organization also named Jessica O. Matthews of Uncharted Power and Matthew Stinchcomb of the Good Work Institute as guest speakers at the event.
Founded with a $100,000 bequest gift in 1969, the Community Foundations is a public grantmaking organization whose central mission is to improve lives in the region.
“We work at the intersections of philanthropy,” said Nevill Smythe, Interim President & CEO of the Community Foundations. “Whether we are helping a donor achieve their charitable goals, bringing agencies and government entities to the table on an issue or helping a nonprofit craft a grant request—our efforts aim to connect the highest aspirations of our partners with the greatest outcomes for all.”
To date, those outcomes include more than $51 million in grants to the region, $5 million in scholarships for students, $2.5 million invested in connecting farm fresh food to those who need it and at least eight (confirmed) lives saved through health and human services grantmaking. That $100,000 bequest gift has now grown to assets of more than $80 million in over 500 different donor inspired funds.
“We look forward to celebrating and thanking the countless individuals and families who have worked to make lives better in the region, and made our work possible,” Smythe said. “In recognizing our past, we are also keen to look toward the future. Who will be the next generation of philanthropists and community leaders? How do their ideas about giving back inspire action? To that end, we are thrilled to welcome Jessica O. Matthews and Matthew Stinchcomb to share their visions.”
Jessica O. Matthews is a Poughkeepsie native with degrees from Harvard University. She founded Uncharted Power, a company that employs innovative thinking to deliver solutions to pressing issues around the world. Perhaps most notably, she is the inventor of the Soccket soccer ball, which generates power through kinetic energy. Her work has earned many accolades, including recognition as Innovator of the Year by Black Enterprise, a ‘30 Under 30’ in both Forbes and Inc. magazines and more. Matthew Stinchcomb is a Rhinebeck resident, and Master’s degree candidate at Bard College. He was among the founders of Etsy, served as its longest-standing employee and later founded both the philanthropic branch of the company ( and the Good Work Institute. He was named a GOOD Magazine Figure of Progress, and one of the Purpose Economy 100.
The 50th anniversary Garden Party will feature locally sourced and prepared foods from Farmers & Chefs catering of Poughkeepsie, along with local wines, beers and sparkling beverages. Proceeds from the event will be granted back to local nonprofits. You can learn more and reserve your ticket today at
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