By Rose S. Prinzi
It happens every day; people walk into our office or mail us a donation usually with thoughts of a loved one, dear friend or a charitable organization. These donations, ranging from $1 to several thousands of dollars, are usually given in memory or in honor of a special individual or a charitable organization they are dedicated to.
Like all community foundations, the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation is a tax-exempt public charity. Established in 1978, the Foundation is structured to serve the people of our area by improving the quality of life in our region. Through the Foundation, individuals, families, businesses and organizations have and can create permanent charitable funds that assist our region in meeting the challenges of our changing times and needs.
With the generous gifts of committed community members, the Foundation accepts donations of any size on behalf of over 500 funds. We administer several types of funds all vigorously overseen by our Board of Directors, an investment committee, and the Foundation’s trained staff.
Most people are familiar with our scholarship funds. These are funds which offset the costs for those attending college or seeking an advanced degree. Establishing a scholarship fund is an outstanding way to honor a special individual(s). It, also, offers organizations, like the Southern Chautauqua County Retired Teachers Associationf, an opportunity to offer a scholarship without the worry of dealing with the day-to-day administration required of such a fund, if they were to handle it themselves.
However, most people are not aware that we hold agency specific funds for such organizations like Hospice, Chautauqua Humane Society, Jamestown Audubon Society, Crèche, Salvation Army, St. Susan Center, Winifred Crawford Dibert Boys & Girls Club of Jamestown and Roger Tory Peterson Institute, only to mention a few. The list is extensive and can be viewed on our website atwww.crcfonline.org. No computer? Call us at 661-3390, and we would be happy to see if we have a fund for your favorite charitable organization.
We also have Community Service Funds which assist with the current and future needs of our region. When these funds are established, there are no pre-determined charitable beneficiaries. These funds, without a doubt, are the most flexible in offering our area a strong, financial base for future stability and development.
A fund can be established by contacting the Community Foundation. There is no minimum dollar amount required to start a fund; however, in order for the fund to be active, it must obtain the amount of $5,000 within five years from the date from when it was initiated.
The Foundation’s founders were dedicated to our community in every way, including our future. They established the Foundation as a legacy for us, knowing that the Foundation and its structure will endure the challenges of time and be available for generations to come.
If you are interested in learning more about the Community Foundation go to www.crcfonline.org, or call 661-3390.