While serving as trustee and treasurer in 2006, Ken Field, founding partner of a thriving accounting practice, decided to set up an operating-endowment fund to support the work of the Community Foundation itself.
“Anyone who joins a board is concerned about the survival of the organization,” he says. “It seemed to me that the most important thing I could do was to help the Community Foundation with operating expenses—to help them keep the doors open and their efforts focused on helping donors and nonprofits.
“I wanted to do something permanent so that the Community Foundation’s staff could spend more of its time and talent on their core philanthropic work. ‘Connecting people who care with causes that matter’ sounds simple, but the Community Foundation actually has a complex infrastructure. Gifts flow through it efficiently. Grants are directed carefully for maximum impact. Donor’s money is very well managed. The staff’s expertise is a huge asset to the region. All this knowledge and experience has taken years to create. I decided that my charitable gift was best spent in supporting all these vital functions, so that everybody who works with the Community Foundation can continue to get the greatest benefit from every buck.
“In tough economic times, the Community Foundation steps up to do even more, with even less. When resources are scarce and conditions are stark, we see clearly how much our communities depend on the foundation’s long-term financial underpinning to be there. My aim is to make sure that the Community Foundation receives that same kind of permanent support, so their work can continue when it’s needed most.”