Stewards of Legacies: Endowing a Culture of Community Support

Writer michael vyskocil
Photographer Eric Forberger

Banking professional, community advocate, an avid reader who can’t pass up sharing a good book with others: Meet Elizabeth “Betty” Carson of Hanover.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Carson began her banking profession at Farmers Bank in Hanover. As leadership opportunities arose at Farmers Bank and its successor institutions, Carson considered these responsibilities just some of many ways she could serve the needs in her Hanover community.

As a member of the board of directors of the York County Community Foundation (YCCF), she met John Polli. Polli, a fellow board member, described how he and his wife Maria were addressing the needs of students at local schools through their donor-advised fund at the YCCF.

Her service to the YCCF board of directors gave Carson a firsthand encounter with how grants made from donor-advised funds have helped communities across York County in many ways.

“I was inspired by their vision, and subsequently my husband Richard and I discussed how we could make an impact at Emory H. Markle Intermediate School in Hanover,” she says. The Carsons established a donor-advised fund, the Carson Family Fund for Greater Hanover, at YCCF. “We wanted to positively impact the lives of children during their most formative years.”

“Our funds can be used for any number of reasons deemed appropriate by teachers,” she adds. “We anticipate this fund will be our legacy and continue with our children making grants after we are gone. We didn’t just want our contributions to stop at the end of our lifetimes. We wanted funding support to continue in perpetuity. Each year, we plan how much we are going to contribute to our fund and discuss which organizations we would like to make grants to.”

In addition to E.H. Markle Intermediate, York County Libraries (particularly the Guthrie Memorial Library in Hanover) is one of the organizations that have received grants from the Carsons’ donor-advised fund. 

“We raised our children here. We live here,” Carson adds. “We have a vested interest in making our community a better place to live.”


How can a donor-advised fund at YCCF help York Countians bring their generous spirits to life?

“It’s a win-win-win: Donors get charitable deductions and have a steady source of funding to make gifts to their favorite charities. By partnering with YCCF, they also support a local nonprofit that is building a stronger community.”

— Jane Conover, President and CEO, York County Community Foundation

york county community foundation
  • 14 W. Market St. York, PA 17401
  • 717.848.3733 (York office)717.630.1843 (Hanover office)
york county community foundation
  • 14 W. Market St. York, PA 17401
  • 717.848.3733 (York office)717.630.1843 (Hanover office)