McPherson County Community Foundation Participates in National Effort to Highlight Local Impact of Philanthropy

During the week of November 11-17, 2013, the McPherson County Community Foundation will join more than 750 community foundations across America for the 14th Annual Community Foundation Week to tell the stories of lives changed, jobs created, and communities transformed through philanthropy’s partnership with private and public community leaders and organizations.

During the week, the McPherson County Community Foundation plans to celebrate the week by recognizing donors, volunteers and philanthropists at an appreciation reception and the annual Philanthropist of the Year awards ceremony. Bill Parker, McPherson Area Habitat for Humanity, Neisha Dahlstrom, Circles of McPherson County and Delonna Barnett and Ruby Jantzen, Angels’ Attic will be recognized for their philanthropic work.

“The McPherson County Community Foundation works every day to help address the most pressing issues facing our community, including poverty, youth development, senior programs, community sustainability, and education]. As we all saw with the recent government shutdown, philanthropy provides a critical bulwark against uncertainty,” said Becky Goss, President/CEO. “Place-based philanthropy, engages community leaders to improve lives through direct action, and is not subject to political whims or partisan bickering.”

Community foundations are independent, public entities that steward philanthropic resources from institutional and individual donors to local nonprofits that are the heart of strong, vibrant communities. The Foundation’s mission is centered on engaging people in philanthropy and building a permanent endowment for sustainable programs. A 10-year strategic for the Foundation centers on three key initiatives centered on building sustainable endowments, nonprofit services and serving as a leader and facilitator for community initiatives and enhancements. A few of the current initiatives include:

  • An ongoing grant program allowing nonprofits to apply when their needs arise versus a predetermined Foundation deadline;
  • A WOMAN’s fund to bring women together with an emphasis on funding meaningful projects affecting women, children and families;
  • Building a grant research library for organizations and individuals seeking funds beyond the Foundation’s resources;
  • An emphasis on capturing 5% of the $1.4 billion anticipated transfer of wealth in McPherson County to develop endowed funds meeting charitable goals of donors and community enhancement;
  • Establishing affiliations with the Inman and Moundridge with a local board of directors who raise the initial investment, create awareness about the foundation within their communities, and determine recipients for grants.

Community foundations represent one of the fastest-growing forms of philanthropy. Every state in the United States is home to at least one community foundation—large and small, urban and rural—that is advancing solutions to a wide range of social issues. The 2012 Columbus Survey found that as the nation continues through a difficult economic recovery, grants by community foundations increased by 21% since 2006.

Launched in 1989 through a proclamation by former president George H.W. Bush, the first Community Foundation Week included a congressional briefing about the work of community foundations throughout America and their collaborative approach to working with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to address community problems.