Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Community foundations can boost rural education, community development, other causes

Leaders in four Kentucky counties are lauding the creation of private endowments for their counties through the help of a regional community foundation. The judge-executives of Boyle, Garrard, Lincoln and Mercer counties said the endowments "will help meet the requests from non-profit agencies, for scholarships or funding for the arts, education, or health and human services," Greg Kocher of the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

Rural communities often have difficulty attracting philanthropy, but community foundations like the Wilderness Trace Community Foundation, which is helping the four counties, and the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky give local people and expatriates a trusted place to donate money, often by bequests. As the baby-boom generation begins to pass, billions in wealth will be transferred to succeeding generations -- or to a philanthropic interest. For example, Boyle County expects $400 million to be transferred within 10 years, and it hopes to capture 5 percent of that, resulting in $20 million, with a $1 annual million payout. In Mercer County, the endowment has reached $83,000. When it reaches $100,000, an advisory group of eight citizens will determine how the earnings will be used. (Read more)

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