Community Foundation Surpasses $20 Million Milestone
Members of the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation (MPACF) Board of Directors recently celebrated a major milestone. With $2.6 million in contributions in 2017, the Community Foundation has surpassed $20 million in total assets.
“We are thrilled to celebrate this milestone in our history. The fact that we have doubled our assets in just seven years speaks volumes about the generosity in our community, and the commitment that Isabella County residents are making to future generations,” said Jill Bourland, President. Community foundations bring together the financial resources of individuals, families, and businesses to support effective charitable organizations dedicated to improving the lives of people in a particular geographic area. “The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation allows anyone and everyone to become a philanthropist, and there is no doubt that every gift, large or small, when properly invested, can enhance the lives of others,” added Mary Ann O’Neil, Vice President. MPACF’s investment returns exceeded 14% in 2017.
Holding assets across 275 endowment funds, the Community Foundation works to meet the charitable goals of donors as well as the most pressing needs in Isabella County. “We work with families, attorneys, and other professional advisors on gifts which maximize benefits for donors and critical organizations in Isabella County,” said Jan Strickler, Development Chair. Individuals and groups may contribute any amount of money to a fund through the Foundation, and the Foundation invests gifts for growth and income, using a portion to make grants in the community based on donor wishes and identified community needs. Since its inception in 1990, MPACF has awarded nearly $6 million in grants through its community impact, field-of-interest, donor advised, organization and scholarship endowment funds—all while maintaining the value of every gift ever given to the Foundation.
“When people give to the Community Foundation, they are creating a legacy. We are proud to have reached the $20 million mark, but we are not stopping there,” said Executive Director Amanda Schafer. “Over the next 40 years, the estimated transfer of wealth from one generation to the next in Isabella County is approximately $4 billion. We want to keep that money local. If just 5% of that projected transfer was designated for charities in our area, $200 million would be retained for people who live, work, and learn in our community. And, if that $200 million was endowed with MPACF, we could make $10 million available for area nonprofits every single year.”
Community foundations play a key role in identifying and solving community problems. “Look around our community,” said Al Kaufmann, Secretary. “So much of what you see and enjoy is, in part, a result of charitable giving: the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum, Woodland Hospice, City parks and trails, the Isabella Community Sportsplex, and the annual peacemaking awards in Mt. Pleasant Public Schools.” Many local organizations, such as Listening Ear, Women’s Aid, Art Reach, and Beal City Public Schools have funds with the Foundation. These organizations provide education, human services, health, recreation and youth development, all making our community a better place.
Bob Long, Past President commented, “More and more, we are focusing on our role as a community leader—convening residents around local issues, educating one another on community needs, and building partnerships to make the greatest impact possible.” While Foundation financial assets have grown, so too has momentum and the willingness to cultivate bold solutions to improve the quality of life for all in Isabella County. “We want to thank donors, volunteers, and our partner organizations who are a force for good in our community,” said Marcie Otteman Grawburg, Community Relations Chair. “And, we invite them to help us look for new and creative approaches, perspectives, and ideas to address what matters most to the people and community we serve.”