Community Foundation Closes 20th Anniversary with County Endowment Fund Growth, Opportunity

At its annual Friends of Philanthropy event on November 15, the Community Foundation celebrated 21 years of giving, growing, and granting. The event, themed “Bridge to Philanthropy,” was held in recognition of the Community Foundation’s anniversary (Nov. 26), Community Foundation Week (Nov. 12-18), and National Philanthropy Day (Nov. 15).

The event’s theme underscored the evening’s announcements. “The Community Foundation works on both sides of the river. We see the river as an opportunity to connect us. Tonight, we’re celebrating those who help us build those bridges between communities, donors, nonprofits, and resources. Our County Endowments are part of those bridges,” said Philip Krupps, Community Foundation Board of Directors Chairman.

In November 2012, the Community Foundation launched a County Endowment Match program to celebrate its 15th anniversary. The match offered up to $15,000 to each county whose residents built a charitable endowment with the Community Foundation by November 15, 2015.

Five counties accepted and succeeded in the challenge: Brown (IL), Hancock (IL), Lewis (MO), Marion (MO), and Pike (IL).

“Whether we live in Lewis County, Missouri or Pike County, Illinois, we share a common goal to secure the best possible quality of life for today and for generations to come,” said Krupps. “County Endowments provide a bridge between residents and ever-evolving needs and opportunities in their counties. They retain local and build assets for today and tomorrow.”

County Endowments are permanent, steady, and secure funds that address charitable needs and opportunities in the county for which they are built. They “root” local wealth and help stem the loss that happens when wealth transfers from one generation to the next and leaves the county. Each endowment fund is led by a County Fund Council of volunteers who work to build the fund and recommend annual grants.

Marion County Endowment Fund

Irene Meyers and Marilyn Hall, Marion County Fund Council members, kicked-off the evening’s announcements by sharing the council’s goal to raise an additional $25,000 for the fund.

“Everyone that loves Marion County should be interested in investing in the Marion County Endowment Fund. This fund has grown since 2014; it will continue to grow, and with your donations, it will grow more quickly. We will see support for worthy projects in Marion get funding for today, tomorrow, and far into perpetuity. Any sized donation will be appreciated,” said Meyers.

Hancock County Endowment Fund

David Fox of the Hancock County Fund Council reminded attendees of their current challenge to increase the impact of the fund. An anonymous prospective donor will match gifts totaling $10,000 with two conditions: the gifts must be made by multiple donors and they must be received by December 31.

“This endowment fund is built by Hancock County, for Hancock County, and this match provides an opportunity for residents to double their investment into our communities,” said Fox. “If residents have ever considered giving, now is the time. The beauty of it is that although we can’t predict needs and opportunities years from now, we can prepare for them by investing in an endowment that will always be here to support the good work of Hancock County nonprofits.”

Lewis County Endowment Fund

The Lewis County Endowment Fund is the latest to join the effort to increase its impact. Virgil Welker announced that this week, an anonymous couple issued an invitation to Lewis County residents to match their gift of $10,000. The gifts must come from multiple donors by May 15, 2019.

A note from the anonymous donor couple stated, “We liked the idea of an incentive for others to give. We are supporting the Lewis County Endowment because we want to help the citizens of our county now and in the future.”

Welker added, “Lewis County is home. You have invested your life, your family, your work, and more. If Lewis County has been good to you, why not give back to it? This gives us the opportunity to not only reach new donors, but to increase the value of our fund. When we grow the fund, we grow the amount we’re able to invest back into the nonprofits who support our quality of life.”

Match Invitation Issued to Adams (IL) and Clark, Knox, Monroe, Pike, Ralls and Shelby (MO) Counties

Rounding out the evening’s announcements was Community Foundation President & CEO, Jill Arnold Blickhan. Blickhan announced that if any of the remaining seven counties in the Community Foundation’s service area were interested in rooting wealth in their county through an endowment fund, the $15,000 match offer for any county that raises $15,000 still stands.

“This match opportunity brings communities together to support and enhance the counties that we call home. When we invest today, we grow for the future,” said Blickhan. “Even small gifts can make a big difference. Pooling resources adds up to a big benefit for our communities.”

Gifts to support Marion, Hancock, and Lewis County’s growth efforts can be made to the Community Foundation noting the endowment fund for which they are for. Brown County and Pike County, IL also have endowment funds with the Community Foundation. The Community Foundation accepts a variety of gifts including cash, stocks, grain, livestock, IRA distributions, and other assets.

Counties interested in accepting the Community Foundation’s invitation to build a County Endowment and receive a $15,000 match can contact the Community Foundation at 217-222-1237 to learn more.

The annual Friends of Philanthropy Celebration recognized the Community Foundation’s 21st anniversary, Community Foundation Week (November 12-18) and National Philanthropy Day (November 15).

The Community Foundation Serving West Central Illinois & Northeast Missouri builds permanent charitable funds to assist area nonprofits and communities.

Its mission, “connecting people who care with causes that matter,” is achieved by gathering funds, growing them through investments, then granting to nonprofit organizations, causes or communities that mean the most to its donors.

Since 1997, the Community Foundation has made more than $5 million in grants. It serves 12-counties: Adams, Brown, Hancock and Pike in Illinois and Clark, Lewis, Marion, Ralls, Pike, Knox, Shelby and Monroe in Missouri.

The Community Foundation has IRS 501(c)(3) status, and contributions made to the Community Foundation generally qualify for the maximum allowable deductions for income and estate tax purposes.

For more information, call 217-222-1237, email or go to or



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