Serving the Salem Area Since 1966

The Salem Community Foundation, a public non-profit charitable trust, has as its mission to improve the quality of life in Salem, Ohio, and the immediate area.  The mission of the Salem Community Foundation is to assess and meet changing community needs and interests through financial awards, and to assist donors to build and preserve enduring assets for charitable purposes.  Grants are provided through endowment funds established by generous donors and support a broad range of needs in the areas of arts and humanities, health and human services, public and community services, and education.


The goals of the Salem Community Foundation are to:

  • Encourage the growth of the Foundation's permanent endowment.
  • Provide a vehicle for donations from individuals, families, corporations and organizations with varied interests.
  • Evaluate and address emerging and changing community needs.
  • Serve as a neutral leader to stimulate and coordinate actions among various organizations to accomplish common objectives.
  • Make grants that are consistent with the above.


The membership of the Salem Community Foundation consists of the organizers, board of directors and donors.  Donors are those persons, businesses or organizations who have contributed at least $100 and reside in the Salem area, or if residing outside the Salem area, continue to have an active interest in the Foundation.

Governing Body

The governing body of the Salem Community Foundation consists of eighteen directors, nine are selected by the following public organizations: Salem Board of Education, Columbiana County Bar Association, Columbiana County Medical Association, Salem Ministerial Association, Federation of Women's Clubs, United Way Services of Northern Columbiana County, Salem Parks and Recreation, Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, and Salem Historical Society. Nine directors are selected by the membership. Salem Community Foundation directors are selected because of their integrity, knowledge of the community and ability to make fair judgments. The Foundation’s directors serve five-year terms and officers are elected annually.  All serve without compensation.


2023 - 2024 Board of Directors

2023 - 2024 Officers


  • President: John E. Tonti
  • Vice President: Robert S. McCulloch III
  • Secretary: George W.S. Hays
  • Treasurer: Mark C. Equizi

Directors From Membership


  • Salvatore C. Apicella
  • Larry G. Cecil
  • Mark C. Equizi
  • Deborah B. McCulloch
  • Robert S. McCulloch III
  • Audrey C. Null
  • Louis A. Ramunno
  • John E. Tonti

Directors From Organizations


  • Steven J. Bailey - Salem Board of Education
  • Carolyn Caldwell - Federation of Women's Clubs
  • Tony Maroni - Salem Ministerial Association
  • Shane R. Franks - Salem Parks and Recreation
  • Karl Getzinger - Columbiana County Medical Society
  • Geoffrey S. Goll - Columbiana County Bar Association
  • George W.S. Hays - Salem Historical Society
  • Richard K. Lutsch - Salem Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Joseph P. Sedzmak - United Way of Northern Columbiana County

Grant Distribution Committee


  • John E. Tonti
  • Robert S. McCulloch III
  • George W.S. Hays
  • Mark C. Equizi
  • Louis A. Ramunno


Salem Community Foundation Established

In 1964, industrialist Walter F. Deming and two attorneys, Alfred L. Fitch and George H. Bowman Jr., often discussed the tremendous job being done by community foundations in towns and cities across the United States and said, "Why not set up such a foundation for Salem?”

The three gentleman started investigating the possibilities and later were joined in their study by Harry Krohne and James Wilson, industrialists; Robert S. McCulloch, businessman; Gail A. Roose, physician; and William Eugene Young, insurance executive. They concluded the time was appropriate to bring the idea of forming a community foundation to the City of Salem. The Articles of Incorporation of the Salem Community Foundation, Inc. were approved on January 13, 1966.

A meeting was held Thursday, June 23, 1966, at which nine people were elected directors, five selected by public groups, and others by membership. The five were Atty. Bryce Kendall, Salem Board of Education; Atty. George Bowman, Columbiana County Bar Association; Rev. Thomas Webster, Ministerial Association; Dr. Harold Muller, Columbiana County Medical Association; and Don Vincent, Salem United Fund. Others elected were Harry Krohne, Atty. Alfred Fitch, Wm. Eugene Young, and Walter Deming. At a later meeting, Deming was elected the first president; Bowman, vice-president; and Krohne, secretary-treasurer.

The Salem Community Foundation began with $2,000 and a hope for the future growth of the Salem community. The plan was for the Salem Community Foundation to act as a reservoir in which many small and large contributions and memorial gifts would be pooled and invested. Income from these contributions would be distributed to aid local religious, charitable, educational, literary, artistic, and civic efforts.

The originators thought it would take a few years to get started before any grants would be disbursed. The Foundation quickly acquired $17,000. Shortly thereafter, the Salem Public Library received the first grant of $200 for the purchase of cultural books.

Reflecting on 58 Years of History

There is scarcely an aspect of life in Salem that has not been touched in a positive way by the Salem Community Foundation over the years. The community foundation has actively shaped the lives and honored the memories of our community residents.

Salem Community Foundation has lived up to the founding belief that the Salem community has many human needs which can best be met by capital funds voluntarily given, administered, and distributed by its own citizens.

From inception, the bylaws have stated that the Foundation is to make grants to applicants for programs and projects in the Salem area. The first board of directors led concentrated efforts to create detailed bylaws. They also formed policies relating to investments, contribution acceptance, and distribution of grants.

Our community foundation has successfully grown to manage 164 charitable funds and distributed over $65 million dollars in grants to assist a variety of non-profit organizations and fund a successful scholarship program.

Salem Community Foundation has developed a rich history over the past 58 years with the purpose of making a positive impact on the Salem area.

Salem Community Foundation  ·  Serving the Salem Area Since 1966