The largest local foundation has taken steps to help area nonprofits achieve long-term, financial stability.
Heritage Fund — the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County aims to assist local agencies with either creating an endowment fund or enhancing an existing one.
This initiative is made possible by a $50,000 grant from the foundation’s community fund. These funds will be divided equally between new and existing endowments, according to Lisa Shafran, Heritage Fund vice president of development.
She spoke about the concept at a recent meeting with nonprofits at YES Cinema and Conference Center downtown.
She sees the endowments as a tool to strengthen an agency well into the future.
“This is another opportunity to talk to your donors about a way in which they can support your organization forever,” Shafran said to leaders of nonprofits.
About 40 local nonprofits already have endowment funds through the Heritage Fund. Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center is without one, according to Randy Allman, the center’s executive director.
Lincoln-Central provides a range of help such as counseling and parenting and job training for a largely lower-income, transient client base downtown.
Allman said he is interested in speaking with center board members about the endowment plan.
Shafran said endowment funds can be used by an organization in many ways, including administrative overhead, salaries, capital campaigns, special projects, emergency needs such as funding shortfalls and new opportunities that arise from time to time.
The grant will provide $1 in matching funds from the Heritage Fund for every $2 raised by the organization up to $10,000 for an agency’s permanent endowment fund. The $5,000 Heritage Fund match will be provided once the entire $10,000 is raised and deposited at the foundation.
For new endowment funds, the fundraising deadline is the end of 2014, Shafran said.
For existing endowment funds, eligible agencies must have less than a $100,000 balance. The program requires that agencies raise $10,000 by the end of this year, and no more than half of the raised money can come from existing donors.
“We want to encourage you to bring new people to the party,” Shafran said.
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