What would make your community a better place? Frequently, community foundations are approached by a group of community members with an idea for a project that they would like to undertake. They want to know how the community foundation can assist them in making their dream come true. If the dream seems viable, the community foundation will open up a project fund to assist with fundraising. Like the one the Jackson Area Community Foundation approved to support the Splash’n Jackson splash pad, or the one the Clarkfield Area Community Foundation approved to support a new child care center in Clarkfield.
But you don’t have to wait for a community group to approach you with a big idea. The Pipestone Area Community Foundation has been very pro-active in seeing what the community needs and then using a project fund to raise dollars to make it happen. Board members work with the city to identify a fiscal host and then play an active role in the fundraising process. A few years ago they helped raise $415,000 to renovate the Hiawatha Lodge, and now they are at it again with a new project to raise $100,000 toward the construction of a new concession stand and ADA compliant restrooms at the local ball fields.
There are a few of good reasons to consider using your project funds. For starters, people often get excited about giving when they can see how their gift makes an impact in a very tangible way in the community. Plus, taking on a project can raise awareness of your foundation among community members. More people will know who you are, and that is a good thing. But perhaps the best reason is simply that you can do something really cool for your community! So, think about it: What would make your community a better place?
About the Author: Jeff Vetsch serves as Community Philanthropy Officer at Southwest Initiative Foundation.