Sewickley Valley Community Fund seeks surveying residents

Thursday, May 10, 2018 | 2:49 PM


A community survey will help local nonprofit leaders decide how to consider requests to fund charitable projects across the Sewickley Valley.

The Sewickley Valley Community Fund for the first time is asking people to take an online survey available on the group's website, sewickleyvcf.org, said board Secretary John Poister of Sewickley.

The survey asks people to rate areas such as education, health care, elder care, and more on a scale of one to five from “least concerned” to “most concerned.”

“This is really going to be a guiding force,” Poster said. “Our communities are different, and sometimes it's hard to get everyone in the same direction. We want to help in that regard, and we want to help other organizations and nonprofits fulfill their mission, too.”

The survey will likely be available until June, he said. Early responses show that people are interested in children's care, education, and children's health, and are less concerned with jobs, and adult education, according to the group.

The results so far are based on a small sample, and they hope more people will participate, board President David Aloe said.

The fund, about 20 years old, is a 501(c)(3) that serves the 11 communities within Quaker Valley School District. The group has donated money to help the library stay open on Fridays, to Cochran Hose Co., the Sewickley Valley YMCA, and the Sewickley Valley Community Center, among others.

Most of the group's money comes from direct support through an appeal letter in the fall, Poster said.

“The idea is to strengthen the infrastructure of the communities by better serving the needs of the populations,” Poister said. “We have a lot of strong nonprofit organizations that provide vital services. We view this as an asset and a safety net for those other community assets to help them continue to fulfill their missions.”

The group has been working to develop more of an online presence.

The board agreed that they needed more guidance about what is important to people across all 11 communities, which resulted in the survey.

“We wanted to get a sense in very general terms of how people view maybe critical issues in the community and based on our preliminary results we were not really surprised with the response so far, but we feel we need a much bigger response,” Poister said.

Kimberly Palmiero is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.