Philanthropists Planting Forests
“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn,” Ralph Waldo Emerson.
When I started in my role as president and CEO of The Community Foundation, I went on a listening tour to talk to stakeholders of the Foundation and those with whom we hadn’t yet interacted. I heard that people believe their perceived wealth can be a barrier to working with the Foundation; specifically, they believe you need to be significantly wealthy to be a donor. As a result, I made one of my goals as president and CEO to make the Foundation more accessible. While anyone has always been able to make gifts of any size at the Foundation, the new Acorn Fund is a way to plant seeds for future charitable giving.
The premise of the Acorn Fund is simple: donors contribute gifts of any size, even as small as $5 or $10, to the Acorn Fund as often as they like. The Foundation tracks the giving history, including corporate matching gifts. While you give, the fund awards grants annually to meet community needs with the Foundation board’s approval. Acorn Fund donors are given an annual update detailing giving history and grants awarded by the fund.
The Acorn Fund is a great place to make a gift if you’re looking to do some good in our community. And with the Foundation keeping track of how much you’ve contributed, you’re notified when you’re close to endowment level, which depends on the type of fund you hope to create. With your gifts, or gifts you’ve combined with others, you can transfer what you’ve given to begin your own fund.
The Emerson quote above reminds me of the work we do in partnership with our donors, and perfectly describes the possibilities with the Acorn Fund. Through the power of endowment our donors create forests which forever support our community and allow us to improve the quality of life for all in the community.
The Acorn Fund provides more options than ever before to partner with the Foundation in your giving. Visit community-foundation.com/funds/acorn to learn more. Even better, give us a call at (419) 425-1100. We’re happy to talk with you to see if the Acorn Fund is a good fit for you.
This editorial was originally printed in The Courier Friday, August 11, 2023.