Who We Are
The Foundation for Community Betterment is a network of generous individuals who believe a simple gesture that touches just one life can positively impact an entire community. As our logo symbolizes, our hope is that our simple actions can create a ripple effect of goodness through the actions of the recipients we support.
We are a national non-profit 501(c) (3) organization founded in 2000 by eight young professionals who wanted to "better" their communities by making an immediate impact in the lives of individuals and organizations in need. At our core, we are volunteer-driven and continue to be run at the national level by the majority of our original founders. Since our inception in 2000, we have expanded to include active chapters and host committees in several U.S. cities including: Alexandria Bay, NY; Binghamton, NY; Buffalo, NY; Canton, OH; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Palm Beach, FL; Virginia Beach, VA; and Washington, DC.
The Betterment Model – Having Fun, Giving Back
We are a social network with a social conscious, so we work to create unique opportunities for our network to have fun while giving back to their community. We raise support for our recipients in a variety of ways, including:
- Hosting a series of fundraising events each year, like golf outings, happy hours, and theme parties, that link our network of friends with indiviuals in need.
- Partnering with individuals or organizations in need to co-sponsor events.
- Utilizing our Immediate Need Fund to provide grants to individual organizations when there isn't time to do an event in their honor.
- Rally teams of volunteers to share their time for a community outreach project.
A History of Hope
Betterment started in April of 2000, when 30-year-old Brendan Curley, shared a story of a young boy with seven of his peers (Jennifer Curley Reichert, Shannon Curley, Jody Graham, Erin Greenlee, Steve Pinkos, and Alex and Andy Rodman):
Brendan met Justin through mutual friends in Virginia Beach and would see each other periodically as they both loved sports especially hockey and began participating in the MDA summer camps and fund-raisers. Justin had been suffering with muscular dystrophy for several years and was confined to a wheel chair. Brendan was immediately drawn to his strength, sense of humor, and fighting spirit in facing his illness. As time progressed, Justin told Brendan that he needed a new wheelchair, and insurance wasn’t going to cover the type of chair he needed. The money they were working together to raise for MDA would go into a large national research fund, that although very important, would never touch Justin personally.
Our team of eight was inspired. We not only wanted to help Justin, but we realized that there are thousands of Justins in our communities. And, that through our personal networks, we could not only find those in need, but join together to help them.
We were energized. We gathered by conference call, and the energy of eight dynamic individuals across the country funneled into Betterment’s mission statement and our three grant-making criteria.
- An Immediate Impact - Because of Justin and his need of a wheelchair right away, Bettermnet helps individuals and organizations like him who have immediate and tangible needs.
- A Network Connection - Because we fund a varied group of individuals and organizations, we want to make sure that our recipients have touched someone in our network...and our network is now nearly 5,000 strong! It is our way of encouraging all of our volunteers, donors, friends, and family to reach out and touch the lives of people in their communities.
- A Gift that keeps on Giving - Justin's volunteerism, even at his time of need, really made an impact on our Betterment group. We don't want to just help one person and have it stop there. By assisting someone as philanthropic as Justin, we help him continue his good work in the community. This is the case with nearly all of our 176 Betterment recipients to date.
We were unified. With our mission and our recipient criteria in place, We began to plan our first golf tournament. Now, over 150 events later, we have touched the lives of more than 225 recipients across the country and abroad. We invite you to join us in our mission...