What is a Community Foundation?

Beautiful Plains Community Foundation

What is a Community Foundation?

A community foundation, like The Beautiful Plains Community Foundation, is a public registered charity, built through contributions from community members. Through gifts to a community foundation, people from all walks of life help improve lives, strengthen families and build a stronger community. By pooling and investing gifts into endowments, a community foundation provides a permanent source of financial support to a variety of charitable projects within the geographic area it serves – forever. It also fulfills the charitable intentions of many individuals, families and groups by providing grants to charities.

The interest earned from these endowments generates a sustainable source of support for local charitable projects. Each year, local charitable organizations apply to the BPCF for grants. In 2017, we received $129,314 in gifts and distributed $99,429 in grants to the community.

What is an Endowment Fund?

An endowment fund may be made up of one or many monetary gifts from a single donor or a group. It may bear the name of the person or people who establish it, or any name they choose. The money in each endowment fund is prudently invested by the community foundation and the amount generated annually for grants is allocated according to the donor’s wishes. For example, one fund might support a local hospital, another might benefit youth recreation programs, and still another might be for a range of community projects at the discretion of the board of directors.

Because the principal is never spent, an endowment fund lasts forever.  A gift to an endowment fund, like the BPCF, is a powerful choice for supporting your community over the long term. Consider this: if you make a one-time $10,000 gift to a charitable organization, it will be spent on immediate needs. If you make a gift of $10,000 to an endowment at a community foundation (of course, you can make a gift of any size!) its impact will snowball over time. By year 30, the original investment will have grown to $19,200 and a total of $19,400 will have been distributed in grants.

For information about any of these funds, or establishing your own fund, please contact a board member or the foundation office.