Who wants to be a grantmaker?

Foundation puts power of philanthropy in people’s hands

The Community Foundation of Grundy County is excited to be celebrating its 10th anniversary.

In March, we launched “10 for 10,” a marketing campaign to highlight 10 projects that we’re implementing in the foundation’s 10th year.

In July, our anniversary month, we launched a great new program — “Who Wants to be a Grantmaker?” In partnership with the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce and Industry, this program will be featured at the Chamber’s monthly Business After Hours (BAH).

At the BAH, the Community Foundation will draw a business card and that winner gets to select a charity. The Foundation will then mail a donation of $100 to that charity in the winner’s name. How cool is that?

Our goal is to inspire philanthropy. And if we have to use our own funds to do it, we’re willing to give it a try.

The winners at the July Business After Hours were Jess & Tammy Alvarez of A+ Home Inspections. They selected the Williams Syndrome Association as their charity of choice.

Based in Michigan, the WSA is a support group and clearing house of information for individuals with Williams syndrome, a rare genetic condition (estimated to occur in one in 10,000 births), which causes medical and developmental problems.

Who will be our next grantmaker?

Please attend the Chamber’s next Business After Hours in August to find out. It might be you — which charity will you choose? Please keep in mind that charities selected must be IRS-recognized 501c3 not-for-profit organizations that are headquartered in the United States.

Another way we hope to inspire philanthropy in Grundy County is with our first-ever Philanthropy Conference. This half-day conference will be in November, which is National Philanthropy Month.

We are still in the planning phase, but are expecting to have two dynamic keynote speakers and four break-out sessions. The conference will cover a variety of topics that we hope will be of interest to donors, professional advisers and not-for-profit organizations. Stay tuned!

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Grundy County is a very charitable community.  When tragedy strikes or our local charities put out a call for help, we are all there with time, talent and money.

Our goal is not to stifle this reactive charity, but to ask you to be thoughtful and strategic about your giving. What problems would you like to see solved? Can your donations of money, time and talent solve it? Are there others who see the same problem? What if you partnered with them and tackled that issue?

Then our question to you: What services do we provide that can assist you in achieving your philanthropic goals? Is it a fund? Is it an introduction to a stranger with the same interest? Is it research into a charity to assure its governance?

A community foundation is unique in that it really isn’t about us. It’s about the big picture of bridging people who care with causes that matter.

One of our donors said it best: “Grundy has the means to take care of ourselves — we just have to be organized about it.”

And we are here to help.