Community Foundation of Taney County Organized

A Community Foundation has been organized in Forsyth, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks established in 1973 to expand private philanthropy in the greater Ozarks community. The Community Foundation of Taney County facilitates charitable giving for local needs and presently manages more than 250 endowment funds totaling approximately $30 million.

Gary Funk, president for the Community Foundation of the Ozarks was present at the Community Foundation of Taney County’s first board meeting on May 6 to discuss endowment funds and answer questions. Members of the local foundation board are Margie Berry, Jan Blasé, Jim Buchhotz, Charlie Campbell, Lyla Girth, Jack Kinkade, Bill Mahnkey, Christina Schanda, Candi Sims and Barbara Wehrman.

Berry, chairman of the board, said becoming an affiliate community foundation provides small communities like Forsyth the same services as those of larger, regional community foundations. “I feel very fortunate for Forsyth to be a part of the Foundation of the Ozarks. Their visibility, resources, knowledge and management of funds gives us the benefit of a large pool of invested funds.” According to Berry, studies indicate that cities and towns with a population base of less than 250,000 would find it difficult to support a stand-alone community foundation.

Community foundations of the Ozarks’ affiliate program offers a solution to this situation in southwest Missouri. A community foundation is a vehicle for charitable giving capable of benefiting the entire community. Through the mechanism of endowment funds, charitable-minded individuals can establish funds to build a permanent source of charitable assets to meet emerging as well as existing needs of the community.

Currently, the Community Foundation of Taney County has four established restricted funds: Forsyth Library Memorial Endowment Fund, Dr. Mary King Long Scholarship Fund, Community Presbyterian Church Endowment Fund and Forsyth City Employee Fund. These funds are distributed as per the expressed direction of the fund creator. Distribution is made according to the conditions of the donations. The funds grow under the management of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

Affiliates with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks are required to have an unrestricted endowment fund of a minimum of $30,000. This fund will provide dollars for a community grant-making program. Fundraising to establish the community grant-making fund may be enhanced by the use of one or more not-for-profit projects by the local board.

The endowment fund is a permanent fund, the principle of which is never touched. The interest earned on the initial gift is then used to benefit a certain cause or program. The initial contribution is permanent and the dividends are long lasting.

The board is currently discussing ways to raise money for the unrestricted funds. They also would like to have established not-for-profit organizations and scholarship funds in the area to be a part of the Community Foundation of Taney County. For more information contact any of the board members.

-Taney County Times May 14, 2003

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