Rewarding good work with philanthropy

Morris Herald-News

March 24, 2016

by Julianne Buck

Executive Director


The upcoming Hands-On Eighth Grade Career Fair is a great example of good work being recognized by local philanthropists.

Because this event is very successful at introducing local eighth-graders to local careers, and because he is passionate about youth and workforce services, an anonymous donor has converted his nonendowed donor advised fund to an endowed designated fund that will forever fund the expenses of hosting this fair.

From here on out, the Hands-On Eighth-Grade Career Fair will be sponsored by the Twilight Fund.

Does the lingo stump you? All funds at the Community Foundation of Grundy County are designed by the donors who set them up.

Choices include whether to make the fund endowed or nonendowed and then whether to make it a donor advised, designated, field of interest or scholarship fund.

Endowed funds live forever.

The principle is invested and the earnings are granted into the community.

Think of an endowed fund like your personal IRA – let it grow over the years to provide a steady flow of annual income in the future.

Nonendowed or “pass-through” funds can be granted down to zero. Maybe your favorite charity is planning a capital campaign but the specific date is unsure.

A nonendowed fund can be set up now, the donor takes the charitable deduction now, and the grant is made later when the charity is ready for the capital project to begin.

Donor-advised funds are the most flexible – donors set them up now and grant from it at any time to any charity.

Designated funds are directed to a particular charity, and grants are automatically forwarded on an annual basis.

Field of interest funds are like-minded people pooling their funds for a specific issue, such as fine arts historic preservation, education, or a community. Scholarship funds help students of all ages and majors achieve certificates and degrees.

Another key point about the Twilight Fund is the anonymity. The donor chooses to remain anonymous, therefore he chose a name for his fund that doesn’t include his name. Funds can also be named after loved ones.

We even have a fellow community foundation with a fund named after a pet.

What if the career fair fades away? The donor has made provisions in his fund document for that, too.

If the career fair fades away, the Grundy County Business Education Council can use the money for a project that links youth with workforce development.

If that tier of decision ever fades away, the fund becomes an unrestricted fund of the Community Foundation of Grundy County.

This is why we call funds “donor designed.” Donors get to select the mechanics of their fund(s) to best meet their charitable goals – now and forever.

The Hands-On Eighth-Grade Career Fair is hosted by the Grundy County Business Education Council. This year’s fair is Thursday, May 5, in the District 101 fieldhouse at Morris Community High School.

All eighth-graders in Grundy County, including Seneca and Channahon, will be attending as a field trip – that’s more than 1,500 students.

At the fair, local business and industry will have displays that students can touch and experience while also learning which high school classes are needed and which colleges and trade schools offer the degree/major/certificate.

More than 40 area businesses are signed up, but we have room for many more in the huge fieldhouse. Contact Devan Gagliardo at 815-941-0852 or [email protected] for information.

  • Julianne Buck is the executive director for the Community Foundation of Grundy County