Community Foundation boosts Rock, Walworth counties
This week, Nov. 12-18, the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin joins with more than 700 community foundations across America in celebration of Community Foundation Week. This is a great opportunity to talk about the role the Community Foundation plays in our Rock and Walworth counties.
Community foundations are nonprofit grant-making organizations that help improve the lives of people in specific geographic areas. The Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin (CFSW) is a steward of more than 530 charitable funds in nine counties, including Rock and Walworth. Major funds in Rock and Walworth counties include the Janesville Excellence in Education Fund, the Janesville Multicultural Teacher Opportunities Scholarship Fund, the Women’s Fund, and community funds in Edgerton, Evansville, Milton and Elkhorn.
Thanks to the generosity of donors and the investment management of the foundation, each of these funds has grown, playing an ever larger role in making our communities better.
In 2011-2012, for example, foundation grants and scholarships from these funds and others in the region totaled nearly $1.3 million. These dollars supported a wide variety of quality-of-life enhancements, including programs and projects in the arts, economic development, education, health and safety, historic preservation, recreation and social welfare.
This charitable investment of well over $1 million in our region is a tremendous boost to our local nonprofit and governmental agencies who are facing the dual challenge of limited resources and greater responsibilities in these economic times. It is also a boost to our students and families facing the rising costs of college education.
Donors to funds affiliated with the Community Foundation can be assured that the foundation operates with the highest of professional standards as established by the Community Foundations National Standards Board. Our investment managers, including representatives from First National Bank & Trust of Beloit, Johnson Bank, BMO Harris Bank, Union Bank & Trust, US Bank and Wisconsin Bank & Trust, see that our assets are prudently managed and invested. Our dedicated volunteer advisory board members make certain that their funds’ grants help improve the communities they serve.
Charitable funds can start with a wide variety of assets, including cash, real estate, stock and personal property. We’ve even accepted a truckload of corn to start a fund! We are happy to help anyone who wishes to start a fund for a community or make a tax-deductible donation to an existing fund. It’s what we do. For good. Forever.
Sue Conley is executive director for the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, www.cfsw.org. For information or to donate to any of the funds listed above, contact Sue at 608-758-0883 or firstname.lastname@example.org.