The Community Foundation of Grundy County is great tool for donors in the community to use to design a fund that fits their financial capacity and meets their charitable goals all while getting a tax deduction. At the foundation, donors can establish a variety of funds to accomplish their philanthropic goals. A donor can be an individual, an organization, a group of donors or any combination of the three.
Each of the funds has its own benefits for donors to consider when contemplating which fund best fits their needs. Donor-advised funds allow donors the flexibility to make grant suggestions to nonprofit organizations. Designated funds let donors impact a specific charity. Donors can specify how the charity is to use the annual distribution from designated funds. Similarly, donors can establish field-of-interest funds to support specific causes such as mental health, community music or youth recreation. Anyone in the community can contribute to field-of-interest funds. Agency funds are those created by an organization to build a long-term endowment and provide an annual income stream forever. Scholarship funds are set up to provide general educational support or to support a specific field of study, population, or school.
You may wonder what impact these funds have on the community. Well, since the beginning of 2021, just over $125,000 has be granted out from the various donor funds held at the Community Foundation of Grundy County, and that number will continue to grow throughout the year. The vast majority of those dollars will stay right here in Grundy County.
While all of the funds held at the Community Foundation of Grundy County have the ability to make an impact to our community, I want talk about two field-of-interest funds specifically. The Sanford Youth Fund and the Gerald D. Abel Endowment have provided a considerable amount of support to the local community. The Sanford Youth Fund Committee decided to keep mental health at the forefront of giving. Since its creation, the fund committee has taken a deep dive into the topic of mental health as it relates to youth in Grundy County. This year, grants totaling $26,000 were provided to Morris Area Public Library, Grundy County Health Department and Morris Family YMCA to provide additional mental health services and soothing kits to adolescence and teens this summer. We are excited to see the impact these resources provided to youth.
The Gerald D. Abel Endowment is another avenue used to get funds out to organizations serving Grundy County. In June, this fund was used to grant over $50,000 to 10 schools for social-emotional learning curriculum, programs and projects. Schools who requested and received funding through the Abel Endowment include Coal City Unit School District 1, Gardner-South Wilmington High School, Grundy County Special Education Cooperative, Immaculate Conception School, Minooka Primary Center, Morris Elementary School, Nettle Creek School, Saratoga Elementary School and South Wilmington Grade School. Due to the flexibility of the Abel endowment, local schools had the ability to apply for a variety of needs from purchasing social emotional curriculum, to training staff and students in this area, to creating sensory rooms and/or hallways within the school, and more. In the height of a pandemic, our kids’ worlds have been in chaos and I have no doubt these funds will make a difference as kids transition back into school this fall.
If you have any questions regarding the variety of funds available at the foundation or any of our other programs, feel free to reach out.
• Devan Gagliardo is program director for Community Foundation of Grundy County.