Letter to the editor: A case for forming a community foundation in Douglas County
September 21, 2017
As a professional in philanthropy, I spend most of my day learning about and communicating with nonprofits the world over. These organizations do an incredible amount of good for people, animals, and the planet we share.
Often, the only thing preventing them from doing more is insufficient funding. Charities need quality employees, equipment, and facilities to operate. Sometimes they take on projects that require a sizable increase to their budget.
While national charities have staff and resources to obtain extra support, our smaller, local charities are limited in this regard. They might have only one or two staff member who, although they excel at carrying out their organization's mission, lack the necessary marketing skills to carry out effective fundraising campaigns.
This is where a community foundation can step in. Local residents, as members of the advisory board of a community foundation, are the perfect advocates for local nonprofits. The role involves fundraising both locally and beyond our borders to grow a lasting endowment for Douglas County.
An effective board should be a group of well-connected, financially savvy, and philanthropically minded individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and professions.
The endowment this board will be raising will not be spent directly, but will instead be invested by professionals, with the earned interest made available. While no one knows what problems the future holds for our community, by the time the endowment is large enough to start making distributions, they will be self-evident. An engaged, invested, and diverse advisory board will be the best entity to help direct funding when the time comes.
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On Nov. 1, the LDC class of 2017 will host Chris Askin, president of the Community Foundation of Western Nevada, for an informational meeting to explore this concept further. If you are interested, please join us at the Community Center on Waterloo from 6-8 p.m.