Community Foundation reaches 100th fund milestone

Apr 13, 2022 | Around Ottawa County, Featured | 0 comments

Tatumn Riddle (left) and Jessicka Riddle enjoy the Ottawa County Community Foundation’s Sunflower Garden.

The Ottawa County Community Foundation (OCCF) recently established its 100th fund, reaching the major milestone with Ottawa County Family Advocacy Center (OCFAC). The Center utilized a portion of its reserves to create the permanent fund expected to generate incomeannually for current needs … and beyond.

“I’m excited about taking the initiative for longevity,” said OCFAC’s Executive Director Connie Roe, noting the administrative ease with which the center was able to start its fund.

“One of our goals is planning for our future. With nonprofits, it’s always hunt and peck when it comes to funding.”

With assets of more than $12 million, the Ottawa County Community Foundation helps individuals, families and organizations, just like the Advocacy Center, to improve the quality of life in Ottawa County. OCCF receives, administers, and distributes gifts as scholarships and grants in the areas of arts, education, health and social services, economic development and natural resources.

Such countywide support is made possible by generous one-time donations and permanent funds established by community members and local businesses.

“What many nonprofit organizations do not realize is that they may benefit, directly, from creating their own funds with financial reserves that can be put to work for current and future use,” said OCCF’s Executive Director Shea McGrew.

According to McGrew, organizations have two primary options when creating a fund. An endowment fund is invested permanently and generates income for use now, while growing over time with investment returns. A donor advised fund, popular with individuals and families, is also ideally suited for nonprofit organizations and enables the organization to recommend grants for their priority needs.

“Community grants through area charitable groups sometimes become unavailable,” Roe said, “or priorities may change and do not line up with our needs.” She noted that, annually, funding changes can create holes that the Advocacy Center must fill if it wishes to continue providing community programming such as CASA, TNT Mentoring, TICKET to Success, GRAND love and Summer Lunch.

Utilizing the Ottawa County Community Foundation’s “GRAND love” program, Rosalyn Barnhill tutors a young learner.

“With this dedicated OCFAC organization fund, we are promoting stability,” added Roe. “We’d like to eventually have two years of funding in reserve … a nest egg to rely on. If something happens, we have a plan.”

More than 300 volunteers facilitate and manage OCFAC programs assisting families throughout Ottawa County. Roe’s goal is to add to OCFAC’s organization fund, when possible, so it “can continue to grow and support much-needed programming, for many years to come.”

In 2021, OCCF gave more than $136,500 in community grants to organizations and community projects across the county. The Foundation’s 2021 scholarship funds also provided more than $152,000 for 121 Ottawa County students seeking higher education or continuing education. The 2022 community grant recipients will be announced in June.

OCCF offers a variety of giving alternatives for supporting the needs of the community and furthering its goal of Doing Good. Forever. For more information about individual or organization funds, email ottawaccf@gmail.com, visit ottawaccf.org, or call 419-635-7750.

Established in 1999, Ottawa County Community Foundation is a public charitable organization created to enrich the quality of life throughout Ottawa County. With more than 100 funds and assets of more than $12 million, the Foundation provides annual community grants and scholarships, while offering philanthropic services for individuals, businesses, and organizations.

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