You may have driven to work this morning unaware that you have entered Community Foundation Week.
There’s no parade. No tree-lighting ceremony in Rockefeller Plaza. You won’t get any days off.
In fact, for us it is a week to work harder at raising awareness of the important role community foundations play in helping people achieve what they want to accomplish through their charitable giving.
We join more than 780 community foundations across America celebrating Community Foundation Week. Community Foundation Week, created in 1989 by former president George H.W. Bush, recognizes the work of community foundations throughout America and their collaborative approach to working with the public, private and nonprofit sectors to address community problems. In the intervening 28 years, the effort has raised awareness about the increasingly important role our philanthropic organizations play in fostering local collaboration and innovation to address persistent civic and economic challenges.
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—working to advance solutions on a wide range of social issues. Wisconsin has 27 certified community foundations.
Our recently released Community Report suggests that the people of the Fox Valley region don’t require a lot of prodding to be charitable. In our 2016-17 fiscal year, which ended June 30, we awarded a record $26.8 million in grants, 40% more than the year before. New donors were largely responsible for the increase. We added 75 new charitable funds in 2016-17, taking the total to 1,490.
We have now awarded $267 million in grants since our founding in 1986. Our grants address a wide range of community needs that contribute to quality of life, covering education, environment, health, human services, arts and culture, and community improvement.
These new funds, combined with a good year of investment performance and people, businesses and organizations contributing $36.8 million to charitable funds, took the Community Foundation’s assets to a new high of $326 million.
Our donors’ generosity keeps us in our long-held position of being the second-largest certified community foundation in Wisconsin.
If there is anything we can do to help you shape your philanthropic dream, contact us at 920-830-1290.