At the Community Foundation of Western Nevada, we try to make smart investments, but we also strive to BE a smart investment for those who want to get the most impact for their charitable dollars. We’ve crafted our operations to be among the most efficient non-profit not just in our region, but in the country, and to ensure that every dollar given is well used.
Charitable giving can’t solve every problem, but charitable giving combined with partnerships, volunteerism, efficient systems, careful measurement on outcomes, and consistent improvement of programs can be transformative. Everyone who gives wants to know for certain that their philanthropy is helping. The added value of giving through the Community Foundation is that your contribution is leveraging additional resources to do even more good in the community.
We measure the metrics of the Community Foundation. Per our 2016 tax return, only 2.6% of our expenses were for fundraising, and only 6.3% of our expenses were for administrative expenses. Measured another way, only .0011% of Community Foundation gift income was spent on fundraising.
We are honored to work with generous families and to administer estate and bequest gifts. The Community Foundation’s low fees mean that the earnings on charitable investments, which averaged 6.6% net return over the last five years, is granted out, not eaten up in costs. This year our grants are about double that of last year. Our investment management fees are also very low because the assets are pooled. What I am trying to convey is that we are VERY efficient, both in our operations and in our use of charitable assets to leverage other non-monetary assets, all to be sure that the precious money contributed make a giant impact in the community.
The income generated by fees on charitable funds covers the cost for Community Foundation philanthropic services. We raise money to help pay for the mission-related work we do in the community, just like every other charitable organization in town. Fundraising supports initiatives work such as with youth experiencing homelessness and family caregivers, Americorps VISTA staff members, this year’s Community Conversation on Workforce Housing and the research/support work on housing issues. Fundraising is why we are able to sponsor seminars for professional advisors and conduct the Free Family Estate Planning Series for residents. It is how we are able to provide resources such as the Nonprofit Connections section on our website and the financial and estate planning resources online for the public and for professional advisors. Gifts to the operating fund mean we can sponsor our High School Giving Circles and Partnership Grants, and how we can lead our 100% Giving Board Award program.
Supporting the work of the Community Foundation is a sound investment for northern Nevada. Thankfully through our board members, Corporate Philanthropy Partners, and many friends, we receive support, but we do need more help. Please consider a gift to the Community Foundation to help support our community leadership work. Know that when you give to and through the Community Foundation, your dollars are being combined with the full resources of the Community Foundation to enhance your giving.
To learn more please give me a call at 775-333-5499.
Chris Askin, President, and CEO
Connecting people who care with causes that matter