December was a busy month for the Morris Community Foundation because of all of the year-end activity. Many members of our community remember our organization in their year-end charitable giving and we’d like to publicly thank all of them for their support.
Last month was also a milestone for the Foundation for two reasons. One is that we reached the $1 million mark in assets! When this young organization started, we didn’t know how long it would take us to reach this great milestone. Part of this success is due to the large CommunityWorks Endowment that we’ve been building over the past three years. When it is complete it will have a value of over $500,000 to forever fund projects in the areas of child care, workforce development, and land use & protection.
The second reason that we’ve reached our $1 million milestone is the establishment of many new funds at the Foundation. Most of these are donor advised funds (some big; some small) that were started before the end of the year but can be distributed in smaller quantities over time as grants to the various not-for-profits that the donors wish to support. Setting up a donor advised fund allowed these donors to take one big charitable tax deduction while supporting many issues and agencies.
In addition to donor advised funds, other new funds at the Foundation address broader issues such as scholarships for working adults, future involvement of the YMCA in our community, and a fund to support area not-for-profits with their building and maintenance needs. These “field of interest” and “designated” funds are a great way for many people to come together around a common goal.
While the tax benefits are a great tool, the real celebration is “why” these donors chose to set up funds at the Morris Community Foundation. While it is a great feeling to give back to the community, the Foundation offers donors tools for getting involved, making decisions, and making a lasting impact on our community for generations to come. The various types of funds we offer allow donors the unique opportunity to use their philanthropy to structure the future of our community – which is a very powerful “why.”
“I want to bring out the best in a community and contribute something of permanent value.” I.M. Pei, architect