Woodbury Community Foundation Began

The Woodbury Community Foundation had its beginnings in 2003 as “Friends of Woodbury” when a group of seven concerned citizens took on the task of raising funds to purchase a piano for the City’s new Central Park. The money was raised and the equipment purchased in 2004. During this process, a number of other needs and issues within the community were identified. This resulted in the vision of the group being expanded to include the establishment of a community focused nonprofit foundation.


In 2005 and 2006, the groundwork for this foundation was laid.  Articles of Incorporation were drafted, our 501(c)(3) status was approved by the IRS, a mission statement was approved by the Board, and a fundraiser was held to generate revenue for marketing and start-up costs, as well as support initial funding requests.

In addition, more prominent local community leaders were recruited to serve on the Board.  These Board Members were drawn from the full spectrum of our community bringing a vast array of knowledge and civic experience to the Board – many of whom have been recognized as Woodbury’s Citizen of the Year by the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce during the past 20 years.  Their value lies not only in their knowledge and experience, but also in their commitment to the mission and goals of the Woodbury Community Foundation.


In 2007 the Woodbury Community Foundation’s Board of Directors recognized that in order to expand and grow, they would need professional, paid staff to assist with taking the organization to the next level.  With a three-year operations grant in hand from the Otto Bremer Foundation, the Woodbury Community Foundation Board began a search for crucial staff leadership and, in February 2008, welcomed Alisa Rabin Bell as the first Executive Director.


In November 2009, our Basic Needs Task Force commissioned local social service and research experts Wilder Research to conduct a Community Needs survey in Woodbury.

It was mailed to 4,000 households (approximate total of 21,000 households in Woodbury).  Our goal was to obtain at least a 10% response rate.  Incentives were offered by several local businesses resulting in an exceptional response rate of more than 900 surveys (about 24%).[/tab] 1 In 2010, we released the results of the Wilder Research Survey in Woodbury.

Four key areas were driving the direction of the Woodbury Community Foundation: YOUTH, JOBS, HOUSING, & FOOD.


In 2015, the WCF continued its partnership with the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce for the our Business Education Partnership, built new relationships with Washington County, the Woodbury Health and Wellness Collaborative and HealthEast to launch our work in transforming our impact work in the area of Health and Wellness, and is partnering with the Sundance Family Foundation to launch a ground-breaking out-of-school leadership experience for teens.


In 2016 the foundation completed its most strategic plan, focusing on creating a culture of philanthropy, developing local leadership, fostering collaboration amongst local organizations, and anticipating future trends. In 2017 the foundation hired its first full time executive director Lori Nelson.


In 2018 the Foundation Returned to its roots as a grant maker and awarded 4 $2,000 grants to the following organizations: Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf, Woodbury YMCA, Woodbury High School AVID Program, Woodbury Department of Public Safety. 2019 Also marked the 10th Anniversary of the Citizen's Academy.