Your community foundation is evolving

December 17, 2015

I believe the Richland County Foundation is well positioned to assist donors in identifying value propositions with its knowledge of the community  and as such, serving a larger role as a community leader.

Recent initiatives supported by the Foundation Board of Trustees such as the 5-year economic development strategy and the Osborne Meese Academy are proof that your community foundation is evolving into a more proactive organization.

Below are excerpts from Foundations and Donor Priorities, The Philanthropic Initiative -

Community foundations have become increasingly complex and diverse institutions. The first community foundation created in Cleveland in 1914 focused primarily on making grants from unrestricted funds that had been gifted through estate plans.

In the 1980’s, donor advised funds (DAFs) began to dominate the field.  DAFs provided living donors the opportunity to direct their grant making to nonprofits of their choosing. The number and size of community foundations grew dramatically during this period. Many community foundations focused on facilitating and supporting this donor-driven giving.

Since the early 2000’s, many community foundations explored playing a more prominent role as leaders in the communities they serve, speaking out on how to create change and direct grant making and other efforts toward specific community issues.

The Monitor Institute’s What’s Next for Community Philanthropy toolkit states, “The status quo is no longer an option for community foundations.”  

Innovative community foundations are bucking the status quo by challenging orthodoxies and understanding and prioritizing roles that are core to the organization.

Please contact me if you would like to discuss how the Foundation can help you identify and carry out your charitable goals.

Richland County Foundation President Brady Groves

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