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A Way to Change the World

Cathie Tierney

By Cathie Tierney, president and CEO, Community First Credit Union

One of the most exciting things that happened to me as chairman of the board for the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region was when David and Rita Nelson’s estate gift was made totaling more than $100 million. That gift is pretty spectacular—as is getting to know the Nelson story.

The Nelsons were two everyday people who got up and went to work while opening their hearts to embrace philanthropy. Through time, the dollars they invested and saved grew to make an enormous impact. Their legacy is outstanding.

What I love about their story is that it shows the power of collaboration. Like the Nelsons, anyone can create a fund within the Community Foundation, creating a ripple effect of influence.

The Community Foundation manages funds of all sizes while still giving individuals and businesses the control to champion causes they believe in. Everyone’s contributions make a difference.

If you look at the most meaningful initiatives happening in our community, the Community Foundation is often right at the center. The organization serves an important role as a catalyst, bringing people together to solve issues and enhance the quality of life for all.

One thing I’m not sure a lot of business owners know is that the Community Foundation is a wonderful way for businesses to handle their giving. Companies can establish a fund and make grants out of that fund to support nonprofits, and initiatives that matter to them – with the peace of mind that the assets are well-managed, and they gain a trusted advisor.

These funds and the work of the Community Foundation change lives. I’ve always believed in Gandhi’s mantra to be the change you want to see in the world. If we’re not going to change it, who will? If we want our community to be vibrant and provide the quality of life we want to enjoy, we have to be active participants in creating that world. Supporting your Community Foundation is one way to do that.

Interested in exploring a family fund? We have a variety of flexible fund options. Check them out here.

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