#329. Community Foundations

Posted on | The Agurban
Community Foundations

I had the wonderful opportunity last week to speak at the Spring Conference for Indiana Community Foundations in Indianapolis. The event was organized by the Indiana Grantmakers Alliance, a nonprofit membership association serving the state’s community, corporate, family, independent, operating, private and public foundations, as well as corporate giving programs.  The organization’s mission is to advance philanthropy by promoting legal, ethical, effective and efficient grantmaking.
Establishing a Community Foundation is top on my list of “What I’d Do in Every Town”. I have always admired the work done in Indiana regarding community foundations. In fact, every county in Indiana has a Community Foundation because of the leadership and vision of the Lilly Endowment, Inc. Lilly Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development. The Endowment affords special emphasis to projects that benefit young people and promote leadership education and financial self-sufficiency in the nonprofit, charitable sector. (www.lillyendowment.org)

In early 2010, the Indiana Grantmakers Alliance commissioned the RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship to update their transfer of wealth (TOW) study for all counties and economic growth regions in the state. The primary goal of the TOW research is to help individuals, communities, donors and organizations gain a better understanding of the remarkable transfer of wealth opportunity over the next decade and beyond. The TOW estimates provide a good idea of the size of this opportunity and the ability to set donor development goals that can translate to endowment building and strategic grant making. It provides a reasonable target for people who care about their rural communities and regions.
A summary of RUPRI’s overall findings include:
·         Projected 2010 current net worth (CNW) of all Indiana households is estimated to be $298.2 billion.
·         Over the next 10 years (2010-2020), an estimated $104.28 billion will be available to transfer between generations in Indiana households – the transfer of wealth(TOW) opportunity.
·         Over the next 50 years (2005-2055), the TOW opportunity is estimated to be almost $368 billion.
·         If just 5% of the 10 year TOW opportunity were to be captured by local non-profit organizations, such as community foundations, for the betterment of Indiana communities, those organizations would realize almost $5.21 billion – the TOW capture target. This same 5% capture over 50 years is an estimated $18.4 billion.
·         Using a conservative 5% annual rate of return on the endowments this TOW capture might build, approximately $261 million would be generated over the next 10 years to support community economic development and other charitable investments. Over 50 years, approximately $920 million would be generated.
Community Foundations can play a vital role in the communities where they are located. If your community does not have one, it’s time to look into it. Visit foundationcenter.org for more information.