The Orton Family Foundation seeks to empower people to shape the future of their communities by improving local decision-making, creating a shared sense of belonging, and ultimately strengthening the social, cultural, and economic vibrancy of each place.
What We Do
The Orton Family Foundation is focused on building stronger, healthier, and more economically vibrant small cities and towns across America. Founded in Vermont in 1995, the foundation devoted more than a decade to working with small towns to develop a community development model that empowers residents to shape the future of their communities. Community Heart & Soul® projects are underway across the country creating positive change that is resident-driven, recognizes the value in the unique character of each place, and the deep emotional connection of the people who live there.
By actively seeking the collective wisdom of all residents, including those whose voices are often missing, Community Heart & Soul brings people together to build stronger, healthier, and more economically vibrant communities. This resident-driven model takes into account both the unique character of a town and the deep emotional connection of the people who live there – a town’s “Heart & Soul®.”
These collective insights into what truly matters most serve to guide the town in making the best decisions about its future. Because the model is resident-driven, Community Heart & Soul builds stronger, healthier, and more vibrant small cities and towns based on what matters most to everyone.