The Community Foundation Martin-St. Lucie impacts communities through inspired philanthropy, strategic innovation and leadership.  


The Community Foundation Martin – St. Lucie was originally established as the Martin County Community Foundation in 1988 by Les Combs, Chris Bentele, and Bud Jordan. Long before community foundations were widely known beyond large metropolitan areas, these visionary financial advisors saw the value in how community foundations can serve donors, charities, and the greater community in perpetuity. They presented this “new way” individuals and families could create lasting legacies, maximize their giving while minimizing taxes, and in the process improve Martin County. The first fund holders were clients of the founders, but before long, other professional advisors were referring their clients who were inspired to give. The first funds were created as scholarships by donors interested in supporting higher education. Over the years, The Community Foundation grew along the Treasure Coast.

Over the last decade, The Community Foundation funds have supported hundreds of charitable organizations with missions ranging from child welfare to public art, reflecting the varied interests and humanitarian concerns of individual donors. The individuals, families, and businesses that have established funds within The Community Foundation are secure, knowing their wishes will be honored and their charities will be funded in perpetuity.

The Foundation’s fund holders have helped build or revitalize some of our community’s most beloved landmarks and community centers including the Lyric Theatre, the Kane Center, the Golden Gate Enrichment Center, House of Hope, the Children’s Museum, The Elliott Museum, Boys & Girls Clubs, and the Dolphin Fountain at Indian Riverside Park.

In 2016, The Community Foundation created an Emeritus Board to honor the founders and the early board members who had faithfully served The Foundation for nearly three decades. They continue to actively represent The Foundation in the community and provide guidance.