- Center for Non-Profit Excellence
You can make a difference, for good, a difference forever by establishing a fund with the Community Foundation.
"Each generation improved the community so as to make life less harsh and richer for future generations. We should not assume that no more needs to be done. We must continue helping our neighbors and we must continue to improve and add to the humanitarian resources of our county for the benefit of present and future generations."
- Community Foundation of Champaign County, May 1972
It was 1972.
Champaign County had a population of 163,281. It was the year that University of Illinois professor John Bardeen won the Nobel Peace Prize in Physics for jointly discovering the theory of superconductivity. It was the year that some 2,000 UI students and faculty held a march on campus to protest the Viet Nam war.
And it was the year that longtime Champaign attorney John Franklin called Forrest Colwell, Kyle Robeson, Helen Levin, Bobby Eisner, Dick Burwash, Robert Mussey and several other community leaders with the visionary idea that launched the Community Foundation of Champaign County with a beginning balance of just $1,300 in assets.
The vision was this: that a public charitable foundation governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees - local residents widely representative of Champaign County - would provide effective philanthropy through stewardship of gifts large and small. Anyone could become a Foundation member by contributing $25.00 annually.
In 1972, the Community Foundation's mission was "to develop a better county in which to live now, as well as to leave a better community for future generations." The 40th anniversary celebrates the success of that mission and the many donors and trustees who have provided visionary leadership in philanthropy.
Since 1972, the Foundation has grown to current permanent assets of nearly $13 million and, on behalf of donors, has distributed nearly $11 million in charitable grants to about 375 nonprofit organizations that work to improve the quality of life throughout east central Illinois. Forty years of philanthropy that has touched many lives through support for health and human services, education, community development and the arts. Forty years of honoring the spirit of generosity that began with John Franklin's vision and has stood the test of time.
For good. For ever.
Based on information provided in a survey of local charitable organizations and in conversations with executive directors, issues of cash flow quickly surfaced as a major concern. The Community Foundation then focused on the most equitable and effective way to help the NFPs, their employees and the clients they serve.
With a generous gift from the Community Foundation's supporting organization, the Marajen Stevick Foundation, a Program Related Investment Fund was established. Intended to bridge the gap between state funding and organizational expenses, nonprofit organizations in east central Illinois are encouraged to consider this service.
To access the necessary documents, please click on the following links: