The Carson Valley Chamber group, Leadership Douglas County, arranged for me to speak last week about forming a regional community foundation as an affiliate fund of the Community Foundation of Western Nevada. As it happened, the meeting was at 6 pm on Thursday night, during the 7th game of the World Series. I thought attendance might be low but was pleasantly surprised by the large crowd of residents, community leaders and officials, professional advisors and other stakeholders who are interested in making this vision a reality. I was joined by three of the Community Foundation board members, Michael Salogga, Drew Aguilar, and Devere Dressler who are residents of Douglas County.
In 2008 the Community Foundation of Western Nevada was one of three sponsors of a statewide Transfer of Wealth Study. The study showed the amount of wealth to be transferred for the fifty-year period 2005-2055. In Douglas County alone, the estimate of transferable wealth is $11.51 billion, with $1.32 billion of that being transferred in the county by 2015.
Well, 2017 is wrapping up, and we have discovered in our work with donors in Douglas County that there are many people who would give to a community endowment if one existed. Income from such an endowment can not only make grants to support local organizations, but could be utilized in more comprehensive ways to grow economic vitality, to support, engage, and retain youth and talent, or to leverage other giving and volunteers, as matches to large state or federal grants. Imagine the possibilities.
In my presentation, I shared how the Community Foundation of Western Nevada can help establish and grow Douglas County’s endowment through a range of services, support, and coaching. We discussed the power of endowment to provide sustainable income forever, and the first action steps needed. Investments like this in our rural communities take time and money, but ultimately the good that is achieved dwarfs the time and cost initially invested. We missed the last ten years; let’s not miss the next ten. The establishment of a Community Foundation in Douglas County is a gift to the community. Many families and individuals will be glad to give back to the place where they’ve lived, loved, and laughed.
The Community Foundation of Western Nevada is reaching out to other rural communities in the region, and if they are willing to make a serious effort at establishing their own community foundation, we are here to help. This is just one way that we are helping to grow philanthropy in the region, and to improve the lives of residents, for this and future generations.
If you’d like to learn more please give us a call at 775-333-5499.
Chris Askin, President, and CEO
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