More than 70 philanthropists and community leaders gathered Jan. 31 at the home of Dale and Matilde Sorensen to celebrate $4.5 million in grants made through the Indian River Community Foundation in fiscal year 2011. The evening, underwritten by Wilmington Trust, paid special tribute to the 51 founding members who provided the original charitable capital to launch the foundation three years ago.
“Technically, the Community Foundation was established in 2004, but it wasn’t until 2008 that 51 founders stepped forward with operational support to begin our work,” said Becky Allen, Chairman of the Board. “Without their deep commitment to the spirit of philanthropy in Indian River County, we would not be where we are today.”
Thanks to these benefactors, Allen reported to the group that the Indian River Community Foundation is the area’s fastest growing nonprofit organization dedicated solely to the promotion of wide-spread community philanthropy. With an overarching mission of building a stronger community through donor-driven philanthropy, the organization now holds $10.7 million in assets, all designated for charitable purposes.
“While traditional nonprofit organizations steward their donors’ contributions, we also focus on stewarding the results of those contributions,” Allen said. “We are a neutral party in this effort, with a primary concern to help donors discover the most effective and personally meaningful way to achieve their philanthropic intentions.”
Over the past four years more than 50 individuals, corporations and organizations have partnered with the Community Foundation to establish charitable funds through which over $7 million has been granted to nonprofit organizations. Funds vary from donor-advised, where the donor makes specific grant recommendations, to fields of interest funds, where donors work hand-in-hand with Community Foundation professionals to uncover community needs and opportunities. The foundation also operates an unrestricted fund which responds annually to time-sensitive community issues. Through these combined funds, in fiscal year 2011, the Community Foundation made grants totaling $4,527,710 to 173 different nonprofit organizations, with 93 percent of those serving Indian River County.
Also in 2011, the Indian River Community Foundation launched two new initiatives: the Alma Lee Loy Legacy Society and the web-based Nonprofit Knowledge Center. The Alma Lee Loy Legacy Society, which already has 25 members, honor donors who are using the Community Foundation to carry out their charitable estate plans. The Nonprofit Knowledge Center is an online database that connects donors to nonprofit organizations serving Indian River County.
“It is our priority to provide donors with the information they need to develop results-oriented strategies for their giving,” Allen said. “Good information is the key to effective charitable giving and in this economy it is especially important that we make sure every dollar is being used to its maximum potential.”
For more information about the Indian River Community Foundation contact the organization’s Executive Director, Kerry Bartlett, at (772) 492-1407 or visit http://www.ircommunityfoundation.com.