By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald
---- — FULTON, Ill. — A special birthday celebration will take place from now until June 30, 2014, but this will be a party unlike many others.
The Community Foundation of the Great River Bend will celebrate 50 years of existence in 2014 and to help commemorate the achievement, they are offering $50,000 in birthday grants.
These grants will be available to the first 50 new endowments — established by individuals, business or families in all 17 counties that the CFGRB serves — to donate $1,000 to their favorite local charity.
To get an early crack at it, Fulton Association for Community Enrichment (FACE) executive director Connie Koehn is becoming proactive to get the community of Fulton involved.
“I will be trying to get the word out there,” Koehn said. “I plan on circling back to people who have shown interest in starting an endowment previously and maybe this will be enough to say ‘this is a good time to do it.’”
Koehn also plans to not only pursue those who have shown interest before, but also get a few other individuals, families and business who may be interested in starting an endowment the information they need.
“I’m going to visit with others in town that I think might have an interest in this, just so I can make sure they understand what the offer is and what they need to do to join,” Koehn said.
In order to receive a $1,000 CFGRB donation grant, an endowment must have three specific qualities to enter.
First it must be established before June 30, 2014; second, the endowment is required have a $10,000 base fund before the June 30 deadline; and finally the $1,000 donation must be made to a charity organization that serves the 17-county area in Western Illinois and Eastern Iowa.
Because there is such a wide spectrum of possible endowments in the area, the CFGRB has decided to split the $50,000 in half until Dec. 31.
“There are a lot of charities and a lot of people who live in the Quad-Cities,” Koehn said. “When they put out this challenge they realized that 50 people in the Quad-Cities could take them up on this challenge before anyone elsewhere can get in on it. So, through the end of this calendar year they will reserve half of the pot for all of their affiliates.”
That $25,000 will be on a first-come, first-served basis to all CFGRB affiliates that can attain the three goals before the Dec. 31 deadline. If the affiliate endowment does not reach the goals before the deadline, it is still in the running for a CFGRB birthday grant, but the competition will be thick.
“We want to make sure that if we want to get some of that pool of money, the community foundations need to be encouraged to go ahead and get theirs set up before the end of December,” Koehn said. “Those endowments still have a chance to get some of the money after Dec. 31, but if we want to improve the things we feel most passionate about in the community, it’s something that needs to be done quickly.”