Building a Legacy

Congratulations to Shirley Kiss and We Care for their recent fundraising success!


For those who haven’t heard, the We Care board of directors is buying their office unit and are naming it the “Shirley Kiss Center” to thank Shirley for her 35 years of work, dedication, and volunteerism to the organization and the community as a whole.


My reason for mentioning this is to remind everyone that you don’t need a building to honor someone – you can use the services of the Community Foundation of Grundy County to accomplish the same goal of creating and leaving named legacies.


If you watch PBS, you notice that many programs are “brought to you by” a major family or corporate fund.  Please understand that you don’t need something as large as a building, famous family name, or major corporation to leave a legacy.


Like on PBS, when grants are made to non-profit organizations out of a named fund here at the community foundation, it will be “courtesy of (or made possible by) the “Named” Fund of the Community Foundation of Grundy County.”


Some local named funds here at the Foundation were started with small amounts.  For example, when Grundy Bank wanted to honor Dave Sommers for his years of service to the bank and the board of directors of We Care, they donated $7,500 to start the “We Care Endowment in honor of Dave Sommers” Fund.  The fund has since grown with other donations and will always be here to remind future generations of a guy named Dave who gave a lot of himself to our community.


Another example is last year’s Golimowski Scouting Fund that was started with just $5,000.  As a result, the name Golimowski will always be associated with Scouting and, since the fund is endowed, the initial gift will forever generate grants dollars to support the Scouting program.


The Community Foundation of Grundy County offers a variety of fund types, all of which can be named to honor someone, whether or not they are still living.  And to make that name live forever, the fund should be endowed so that the principal will always be generating grant dollars to support the community.


The most popular type of named fund is a scholarship fund.  If you attend Awards Day or graduation ceremonies at any of our area high schools each May, you witness the long list of named scholarships that are available to students.  Even if the person behind the name of the fund is long gone, it’s an opportunity to today’s students to learn about someone of local importance.


The most flexible type of fund is a Donor Advised Fund.  We currently have many that were created by families in our area so that they can make grants to the organizations that they as a family care about.  Donor Advised Funds can also be set up by individuals and corporations.


Field of Interest Funds can be named, such as the Grundy Bank Music Fund that supports amateur music groups in our area.


Designated Funds can be named and support a particular organization, such as the Golimowski Scouting Fund.  We are currently working with a donor to establish two new endowed funds that will forever support two major organizations in our county.  Both of these new funds will be named for family members who are no longer living but were pillars of our community during their time.


So as you think about the people in your life, merge those thoughts with your charitable giving goals to see how you can honor someone through a named fund at the Community Foundation of Grundy County.


Remember, you don’t give TO a community foundation, you give THROUGH it.



Footnote (with logo if you can): the Community Foundation of Grundy County “bridges people who care with causes that matter.”