In the Community
Touching TomorrowNovember 23, 2009
In the community foundation world, we “touch tomorrow” through the development of endowment funds—funds designed to generate charitable dollars in perpetuity. The Community Foundation’s tag line, “For Good. For Ever.” is reflective of this important aspect of our work.
Benjamin Franklin, the founder of American philanthropy, willed $1,000 to each of the cities of Boston and Philadelphia—America’s first planned gifts. His instructions included the expectation that the funds would be invested and would not make any grants for 100 years. He believed that when the funds matured, there would be $1 million for each city (ah, the power of compound interest!). His calculations were correct. Unfortunately, he had stipulated that the purpose of these gifts was to assist indentured servants. By the time the dollars were available for use, the concept of indentured servants had been outlawed for more than 40 years.
Permanent funds—these are a great idea.
Investments compounded for growth—this is another great idea.
Broad flexibility as to charitable purpose—this is an even better idea than Ben’s!
The Touch Tomorrow Campaign is the Community Foundation’s annual campaign designed to build resources for individual communities across the Lowcountry, insuring that nonprofits doing good work today will be supported well into the future. Touch Tomorrow Endowment Funds have been developed specifically to collect resources for these communities. Whether your community is Hilton Head/Daufuskie, or Greater Bluffton, or Beaufort, or Jasper County, or Hampton County or Colleton County, a permanent fund is an opportunity for you to give a gift which will continue to generate charitable dollars to meet community needs For Good. For Ever.
We have taken Benjamin Franklin’s concept and improved it. First, from enjoying the arts, to protecting our environment, educating our youth and feeding our hungry, Touch Tomorrow Endowment Funds provide for ALL areas of charitable endeavor in a community. They provide the opportunity to realize the goal of improving life in the Lowcountry through giving back. Though our funds serve communities as diverse as the region itself, they spring from the shared concern and generosity of hundreds of donors who feel ardently about their community and its residents. Second, we aren’t waiting 100 years to make local grants. Advisory committees of local concerned citizens help grow the funds, and develop guidelines for grantmaking. There are needs now as well as in the future, and the goal is to address both. Third, a permanent source of dollars is critical to the strength of an area, and the Community Foundation provides the needed framework, in part through the Touch Tomorrow Campaign. A gift to the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry’s Touch Tomorrow Campaign demonstrates your belief in our mission and reinforces your commitment to making a difference your local community. Touch HERE to touch tomorrow, and in so doing, know that you are making sure that every day, in perpetuity, matters.
Denise K. Spencer