York, PA — In recognition of outstanding contributions to the City of York, York County Community Foundation (YCCF) was presented with a Commonwealth Award from 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania for its social impact investment work. The award was presented during the Commonwealth Awards celebration on December 7 at The Bond building in York.
“We are honored to receive this award, and feel that supporting the redevelopment of the City of York is vital,” stated Jane M. Conover, President and CEO of YCCF. “YCCF knows what studies have demonstrated for decades — that a vibrant, economically thriving city positively impacts all of York County by attracting visitors, residents and business to our community. That’s why it has focused resources on creating and sustaining exciting redevelopment in downtown York and its surrounding neighborhoods.”
In the past three years, YCCF has invested more than $1 million in revitalizing downtown York, through a variety of funds and initiatives.
Recognizing that it is often a challenge for developers to make the financials work on urban redevelopment projects, YCCF recently established the Social Impact Investment Fund to provide patient capital at attractive rates. The fund mirrors what community foundations are doing across the country… using some of its assets to invest in economic development projects that may or may not be led by nonprofits. The fund also provides a vehicle for donors who want to support redevelopment while making a charitable gift to the fund. The Social Impact Investment Fund was established to promote economic development in downtown York City through market-rate housing, redevelopment of blighted and vacant spaces, and development along the Codorus Creek. Distributions from the fund may be in the form of grants, loans or other equity investments. Proceeds from the investments are returned to the fund for redistribution to new projects. Through the Social Impact Investment Fund, YCCF provided $250,000 in loan funding for RSDC’s Market Street Revitalization project and made a $200,000 financial commitment to the redevelopment of the Yorktowne Hotel.
To create and sustain momentum in downtown’s economy, YCCF dedicated portions of its discretionary Fund for York County and Beautiful York Fund to quality public and commercial spaces. In recent years, these funds awarded more than $350,000 in grants for the lighting of Continental Square, improvements to the rail trail, public art, building capacity of the Community First Fund to implement new market tax credit projects, security cameras in the Market District, revitalization of the Salem Square neighborhood and $50,000 towards predevelopment costs for the Yorktowne Hotel. We’re excited to be part of the most impactful and significant economic development initiative currently underway in the City of York.
YCCF knows that many people are excited about the renaissance of downtown and it wanted to provide new opportunities for givers to join in. YorIt is an initiative of YCCF, comprised of people who are excited about building their lives in York, who are enthusiastic about York’s potential and who wish to contribute to the vitality of York. Through the YorIt Social Venture Challenge, the group supports emerging, socially-minded organizations that add to the vitality of York. YorIt members pool their gifts and solicit project ideas, interview applicants, and organize a live pitch event where members vote on the project that they think will create the greatest spark downtown. Successful Social Venture Challenge winners include Working Class York, The Parliament Arts Organization, Pedi Cabs of York and the popular Taste Test pop-up restaurant.
YCCF is thrilled to work with many community partners to achieve our vision of a York County that is growing, prosperous and united with unsurpassed opportunities for everyone to thrive.