BarnThe first community foundation was set up in Cleveland in 1914 by Frederick Goff and operating now as the Cleveland Foundation. Others soon followed including the California Community Foundation and the Chicago Community Trust.

Community foundations are now a global phenomenon. There are at least 700 in the United States and perhaps 1000 more around the world with numbers growing rapidly.

In 2004 a study conducted by the Maryland Community Foundation Initiative was completed to research the three counties, Charles, St. Mary’s and Calvert counties. The study indicated the need to organize a vehicle for all types of giving and to set up Community Foundation serving all three counties. Francis H. Chaney II, Chairman of the Board of Chaney Enterprises and Chaney Foundation; and Dick Gregory and Frank Hollewa of the Greater Waldorf Jaycees were among the several business leaders interviewed for this study. The concept sparked an interest with Mr. Chaney and the Greater Waldorf Jaycees and from there they became the co-founders of the Community Foundation of Charles County.

In December of 2005 the Community Foundation of Charles County became incorporated; in September of 2006, the Executive Director hired; and in August 2007 the Community Foundation of Charles County received its 501 c 3.

On November 2, 2012, the Community Foundation of Charles County announced its new name, Community Foundation of Southern Maryland, Inc., at its 7th Annual Philanthropy Day Luncheon.

A special thank you to Chaney Enterprises, Chaney Foundation and to the Greater Waldorf Jaycees for their ongoing support of the Community Foundation of Southern Maryland.