John and Connie Meinke are clear about what their charitable passion is, but rather than it being a particular organization, their passion is for an issue — hunger.
In the community foundation world, that’s tailor-made for a field of interest fund. It’s more focused than the usual donor advised fund, but not directed at a particular charity or charities as a designated fund would be.
The Meinkes’ Loaves and Fishes Community Fund provides ongoing financial support to local food pantries. They chose not to use their family name for the fund in hopes that like-minded donors will join in their cause. Anyone can give to any Community Foundation fund in any amount.
“We wanted to focus on the ‘community’ aspect of the fund for wider appeal to potential donors,” Connie said.
They came to choose hunger as their cause through their work in the community.
“Based on our volunteer experiences with local agencies, we saw first-hand the extensive need of services the food pantries provide,” Connie said. “Therefore, the fund was established for the sole purpose of providing financial support for food pantries.”
The Loaves and Fishes Community Fund started as a future fund with a $1,000 gift in 2007. That’s the minimum for establishing a fund that is to be built up over time. Once a future fund exceeds the $10,000 mark ($15,000 for scholarships), it becomes an endowment and the donors can begin making grants from the investment gains on the endowment.
The Meinkes also are members of the Himebaugh Legacy Circle, by virtue of a bequest in their will. The Legacy Circle recognizes people now for gifts planned after their lifetimes.
Connie said the Foundation staff did a good job helping them understand the process and serving as a resource in identifying possible grant recipients.
“Our experience with the Community Foundation has been outstanding!” Connie said. “It is a pleasure to work with everyone at the Foundation, as their enthusiasm and professionalism are demonstrated daily.”