FLEX Feature: Bridge Builders Community Foundations with Lauren Hart

We started our “FLEX Feature” series in January of this year to share about Venango County businesses and nonprofits through the eyes of young professionals who work there. We specifically wanted to feature organizations that do interesting and amazing things, but are not talked about enough or what they do is misunderstood.

This month we’re excited to hear from Lauren Hart of Bridge Builders Community Foundations, which is located in the Transit Building Annex in Oil City.

Tell us about Bridge Builders.
Bridge Builders Community Foundations is a grantmaking public charity that is dedicated to improving the lives of people in our community. We work with individuals, families, and businesses to set up funds that help the community. Those funds can be scholarships, donor advised funds, field of interest funds, and so many more. The funds created with the Community Foundation provide grants or scholarships to local nonprofits and students in need.

What is your role there?
I am the Director of Finance & Operations. I have been with the Community Foundation for almost nine years now. My main duties are to plan and complete tasks needed for the day-to-day operations of the Foundation. Some of my responsibilities include fiscal management, essential office functions, scholarship administration, technical support, and administrative support of the Foundation and supporting the President & CEO.

What is your favorite part about working at Bridge Builders?
One of my favorite parts about working for the Community Foundation is working with our generous donors. I look forward to getting to know them and assisting them with their philanthropic endeavors. I also really enjoy being a part of making our community a better place.

What is surprising about the organization?
There are many ways to give through the Community Foundation. Although cash gifts are most common, we are also able to accept donation of property, appreciated stock via securities, bequests, wills, and trusts as well as beneficiary designations through a person’s life insurance or IRA. Our most unique gift is a Mausoleum located in the Grove Hill Cemetery which we still own and maintenance.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Although we are a small staff of just three people, the Community Foundations’ footprint includes Venango, Clarion, and Forest Counties. Last year alone, we awarded over $550,000 in grants to local organizations and over $380,000 in scholarships to the students in our community.

Learn more about Bridge Builders Community Foundations at

This article was published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) November 2022 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) Newsletter.

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