History

In 1979, a group of civic leaders, looking ahead with a desire to provide a way for individuals to give back to their community, created the Watertown Community Foundation. They did so with the $3,000 left from the Watertown’s Centennial celebration that year.

For many years the Foundation’s business was stored in a box in a broom closet at City Hall. In 1993, the Foundation moved to an office at the Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce. In 1996, the Terry Redlin family invited us to have an office at the Redlin Art Center where we stayed for six years. In 2002, the Foundation moved to its current location, a gift from the Kenneth Way family at 211 East Kemp Avenue in uptown Watertown.

With the leadership and commitment of the founders and the Foundation board members and Trustees to follow, the Watertown Community Foundation has attracted thousands of caring donors and will continue to serve as a resource for the community for many years to come.

The Foundation has grown in its role as steward of the community’s endowment. Since first awarding grants in 1981, the Foundation has given approximately 5 million to local nonprofit groups and organizations. And, from the original $3,000 it began with, the Foundation has grown to nearly $15 million in assets.