Have you ever noticed that sometimes something starts and grows, and we don’t notice it until it reaches a certain stage? One of those somethings is the Community Endowment. It is now reaching a noticeable stage. Soon everyone in our community will realize that the Community Endowment is a big deal. Very few communities have a resource like this. A community endowment can be a game-changer because it belongs to, and the benefits are directed by the Community.
It takes a special donor to make a gift to an endowment. They know the gift will be invested and generate income to be granted, and they understand that the grants will be decided by a committee of community members.
I can tell you these special people believe in the future of our community and are contributing to the Community Endowment. They believe that their gift, pooled with the donations of others, and combined with collaboration, strategies, and advocacy, can result in transformative improvements.
I am proud to share that 65 individuals have contributed to the Community Endowment. Total gifts equal $4,139,910. In addition, 14 families have made commitments to contribute to the Community Endowment through their estates, and these additional gifts will total an estimated $10 million.
The power of invested principal is amazing. Several endowed funds at the Community Foundation have granted more dollars in income than the original principal gift itself. We will distribute 5% of the Community Endowment principal each year, based on a three-year rolling average. The result of this formula is a dramatically increasing grant distribution, with a dramatically increasing impact in our community. In 2019, $45,000 was distributed as grants. In 2020, the grant distribution amount will grow to more than $100,000, and in 2021, to more than $200,000! The sky is the limit as the Community Endowment grows in the future.
Imagine what can happen if everybody supported the Community Endowment! The 65 initial donors have created a snowball that is beginning to grow. Their philanthropy, which means “the love of mankind,” is a testament to their love of community, of our region, and their vision and faith.
The possibilities are endless, and we’re just getting started. Please check out this link to learn more about the Community Endowment. Join me and dream a bit about the future. Imagine what good it can bring to our community, and the benefit to the lives of our friends and families, as the Community Endowment’s grants become spectacularly apparent to everyone who lives here.
I hope you will think of the Community Endowment as YOUR community endowment, and pitch in to help it grow. For good. Forever.
Chris Askin, President and CEO