Saturday, November 19, 2005

Community Foundations for the Long-Term

I received the following comment to a recent blog from Lael. Here is what she wrote:
“Our community needs its very own endowment fund for community development but we are finding a pocket of resistance from some folks who think any money raised should immediately be spent rather than saved as a permanent asset with only the interest utilized to facilitate community development. They also resist the idea of helping the poor through this fund. I don’t understand this but would love any ideas on how to overcome the resistance. We have decided to call it a Legacy fund rather than endowment. This is a rural community with the biggest town being under 10,000 and total county population of approx 40,000. 25% of the population lives below the poverty level.”

I’ve visited some towns and counties this size that have $10 to $30 million in their endowments. They have all taken the long-term approach, not immediately spending any money raised, but rather investing for their kids and grandkids. A bit of patience and the power of compound interest can yield some wonderful benefits for the community.

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