Carolyn Steinhauser

Carolyn Steinhauser

In honor of Women’s History Month, we are highlighting inspirational leaders who have helped make York County a place where everyone is given the opportunity to thrive.

Carolyn Steinhauser is one such woman! After moving back to York County with her family, Carolyn became an avid volunteer, using her talents to support local nonprofits. Her passion for supporting women eventually led to Carolyn becoming the executive director of the YWCA.

Amazingly, she also found time to serve on the board of the former York Foundation (now York County Community Foundation) and ultimately became its first executive director, serving for almost nine years and impressively raised YCCF’s first $25 million.

In 2003, Carolyn founded the York County Community Foundation’s Women’s Giving Circle (WGC) with like-minded women from the York community. By pooling dues from its members, WGC provides seed money for countless community projects.

Carolyn is considered by many community leaders as the human startup capital for countless initiatives over the years to help raise the quality of life in parts of York County.

“I can’t imagine how many things in York have happened because Carolyn had a good idea,” said a founding Women’s Giving Circle member.

Carolyn sees her role as a facilitator, connecting the dots among the different groups and individuals in the community who can partner to make something happen.

It’s in keeping with her philosophy of “strategic philanthropy” — figuring out exactly what is needed, determining a specific action that can help, and then leveraging some money with a host of community partnerships for a positive impact — all with an eye toward long-term sustainability and lasting impact.

“I like to build things,” Carolyn said. “This is what I love.”