The Delaware Community Foundation began in 1986 when community leaders realized the need for a permanent source of funding to provide for Delaware’s current and future needs.

In 1985, former Gov. Pierre S. duPont III, an active board member of the United Way of Delaware and the Longwood Foundation, realized that the charitable needs of Delaware’s nonprofit agencies and institutions were more than existing resources could support. Concerned that most fundraising was for current operating needs and none for endowments to meet future needs, Mr. duPont recruited 19 community leaders to create the Delaware Community Foundation in July 1986.

The News Journal and parent company Gannett provided start-up money, In 1989, Gov. Mike Castle endorsed the Foundation, and the state provided a $2 million grant “to be used as an investment in the charitable future of Delaware.”

Today, the DCF is among the largest community foundations in the country.

Founding Board

John J. Quindlen


Arden B. Engebretsen

Vice Chair

Edward G. Jefferson
Alexander F. Giacco
Donald L. Cielewich
Harry Corless

Brian J. Donnelly
Mrs. H.B. duPont
Pierre S. duPont III
James H. Gilliam, Sr.

Genevieve Gore
Howard M. Handleman
Richard E. Heckert
Robert M. Hoyt

William C. Lickle
Thomas L. McFalls
Jeremiah P. Shea
Irving S. Shapiro

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