As an organization like the Community Foundation grows, we have choices to make. The natural choice is to stick with our core business of helping people who care with causes that matter through grantmaking and scholarships. The harder choice is to use what we have learned and work with donors and partners to make a more substantial impact on our community.
About eight years ago our Board made the choice to become a community leader. Subsequently, our work has been a result of that decision and our growing capacity.
Our capacity has grown thanks to generous donors and fundholders who choose to do their charitable giving through the Community Foundation rather than set up their private foundation or use a commercial donor-advised fund. We cannot thank our fundholders enough for their decision. We work every day to ensure that our services exceed their expectations.
Through their support, our capacity in the form of assets provides a stable and growing platform from which we can lead community efforts. Through their funds, we have made more than 9,000 grant and scholarship distributions totaling more than $120 million. This experience has given us extensive knowledge about charitable organizations, their services, what works, and what doesn’t, how we can collaborate, and much more.
The 19 Community Foundation Corporate Partners have contributed significantly to our growing capacity during the last three years. These corporations provide annual financial contributions to the Community Foundation to engage in community work. With their support, we can help youth who are struggling with homelessness and help thousands of unpaid caregivers in our community. They supported our development of affordable housing for the lowest-income working people who need it. And now, they help fund our work as we develop a platform to address and reduce financial abuse in our region. Our capacity is resulting in impact. I could not be more grateful.
Without a willingness to act to expand our mission and the courage to take chances, even the greatest capacity would not result in a high level of impact or benefit to our community. The simple reason the Community Foundation is doing so much is that you ask us to step up. In surveys and focus groups conducted by consultants, first in 2011 and again in 2016, it was clear that the community expected the Community Foundation to do more.
Led by our Board, we embraced the request and over time have made sure that, as we grow, we do more to benefit the community.
We are just getting started.
If you are a donor, please consider joining our mission by establishing your charitable fund at the Community Foundation, either currently, through your estate giving plans, or both. If you’re involved with a local corporation that is looking for big dividends in terms of improvements to the community where your company is located, where your employees live, and where your customers are based, please consider joining our Corporate Partnership.
Why are we doing so many good things? Because we can, because of you.
Chris Askin, President, and CEO