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Changing Lives In The Estes Valley

Submitted by The Estes Valley Community Fund Committee of the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado.

In every structured and structural aspect of living, we are taught the importance of building firm foundations — for our homes, for our public edifices, and even for our dreams! Michelangelo’s birth home still stands in the mountains of Italy because it is built upon bedrock. The Acropolis and the Coliseum still radiate sublime majesty from Athens and Rome because the footings beneath them are firm and true. And, the desire of Alfred Nobel to ennoble and enable the good and gifted citizens of this universe is built upon solid passion and generosity from the heart.

It is perhaps prophetic and a gift of a generous language that the word “foundation” also denotes “an institution formally charged with the conveyance of charitable proceeds in an orderly and prescribed manner.” In order to foster a true sense of “community” in the course of charitable giving, organizations known as “Community Foundations” have come into being.

The first was in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1914. Today there are over 650 Community Foundations in the United States harboring $30 billion in donors’ charitable assets and the concept is expanding exponentially! Community Foundations offer a wonderful avenue for donors to make significant charitable monetary gifts while retaining the highest-possible degree of involvement, flexibility, and effectiveness. Charitable donors do not give TO the Community Foundation — they give THROUGH the Foundation to touch the lives of individuals and organizations in need. The concept is, indeed, very simple.

Charitable donors establish “Charitable Endowment Funds” under the professionally-administered umbrella of their local Community Foundation. The Foundation provides asset management, administrative support, and valuable tax benefits. In a “Donor-Advised” Fund (for example), the “growth proceeds” derived from a charitable contribution are dispensed from time to time at the discretion of the donor(s) or their heirs in perpetuity. Or, donors may entrust dispersals of charitable proceeds to the Foundation. In either case, with proper management, such endowments should not only generate annual assets to invest in local needs, they should grow and endure forever.

To these ends The Community Foundation of Northern Colorado, a non-profit public charity established by local community leaders and based in Fort Collins, was founded in 1975. The Community Foundation of Northern Colorado currently manages $39 million in donor assets in over 250 distinct Charitable Endowment Funds on behalf of contributing individuals, couples, corporations, and entities. Its local affiliate, the Estes Valley Community Fund Committee, is comprised of civic and business leaders who volunteer their time and energy to guide the Foundation’s work at the local level. Their mission is two-fold.

1). They are responsible for reaching out personally and connecting with non-profit organizations throughout the Estes Valley to identify current and emerging needs. They award grants from available unrestricted funds to help underwrite these needs.

2). They are dedicated to making Estes Valley residents who harbor charitable aspirations aware of the nature, scope, and mechanics of the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado and its local affiliate. They want all citizens of the Estes Valley to appreciate the potential for achieving good that is inherent in charitable giving when such giving is marshalled effectively at the local or regional level.

Thanks to the civic-mindedness and generosity of the “Estes Park News” this article will be followed by a series of articles dedicated to informing readers regarding various aspects and attributes of the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado and its local Estes Valley Community Fund Committee. These articles will appear bi-weekly under the banner, “Changing Lives in the Estes Valley,” and will feature:

1. Articles to raise community awareness of all charitable service organizations currently serving in the Estes Valley, their goals, and their needs;

2. Articles to show how the community can best respond to these needs through financial contributions and support;

3. Articles to inform and educate the community with respect to proven channels for sustaining local charities through estate planning and other related philanthropic options.

When the “future” Estes Valley Community and all of its citizens stand tall, secure, and proud on firm footings and foundations, one of the solid underpinnings shall surely be the charitable outpourings of its caring citizens through the good offices of the Estes Valley Community Fund Committee and the Community Fund of Northern Colorado.

For further information, please feel free to contact Randy Davis, 577-7700; Joe Adair, 586-8846; Ludie Dickeson, 586-9409; Barb Marshall; Paul Newendorp, 586-6620; Judy Nystrom, 586-3333; Frank Shavlik, 577-9598; or Eric Waples, 577-1827.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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