Started by Harold and Arlene Schnitzer in 1997, the CommuniCare program channels The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation’s commitment to small, community giving through a school-based youth philanthropy program.
In its 21-year history, students have granted over $1,000,000 to over 230 nonprofit organizations and school programs.
Stewardship and education are of primary importance to Harold and Arlene’s son, Jordan Schnitzer, who is honoring his parents’ legacy and commitment by expanding the CommuniCare program.
In this year-long, student-directed program, CommuniCare groups act as “mini-foundations.” Students begin the year by selecting a community issue or service area that they feel passionate about and are challenged to raise $1,500 during the fall and winter months. Each dollar they raise is matched 10:1 by The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation, up to a maximum gift of $15,000. Students spend the rest of the school year completing the grantmaking process – researching Oregon nonprofits whose work aligns with their mission, evaluating grant proposals, meeting with representatives from those organizations, and deciding which to fund.