Locally, community foundations seek to help find solutions to some significant challenges—including poverty, hunger, education, health, and the environment. As catalysts for change, community foundations work hand in hand with different sectors in society to support nonprofits that cater to worthwhile causes. Community foundations put people in the community at the center of our work, through the efforts we support, as well as leaders we engage in problem solving. Community foundations serve as facilitators of positive change.
The Eau Claire Community Foundation, the Community Foundation of Chippewa County, and the Community Foundation of Dunn County serve as vehicles through which individuals, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and private foundations can more effectively support nonprofit groups provide much-needed services in health, education, the arts, the environment, and social services. As leaders in philanthropy in their respective areas, they set the standards to the rest of the community. These local organizations understand the real needs of their respective communities, as well as the best ways to help them. Their different philanthropic programs in partnership with different sectors in society have positively impacted their communities.
During National Community Foundation Week, November 12-18, 2010, Menomonie, Chippewa Falls and the Eau Claire communities in Wisconsin will join hundreds of community foundations across America in highlighting the philanthropic work of community foundations. The three community foundations will each host an open house on Wednesday, November 17, at their respective offices to engage the entire community and help raise awareness about the role of community foundations in supporting families in need and addressing critical issues like health, education and more.
To engage the public, each of the three foundations is inviting donors to contribute to their community/unrestricted funds, with matching contributions pledged by local corporations. This campaign will run through Thanksgiving Day. The unrestricted funds support grants to local nonprofit organizations, providing important services to the Chippewa Valley.
With their key role in identifying problems and helping galvanizing partners to power to create change, it is important for community foundations to get support from the community they live in. Inspiration must be converted to action in order to be effective. And community foundations definitely give the means to equip and mobilize people to create the change that they want to see.
Sue Bornick is executive director of the Eau Claire Community Foundation