The New Market Rotary Club welcomed Shenandoah Community Foundation President Michael Funk to speak to them at a mid-August meeting about the Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. Members were very enthusiastic to learn not only about the Foundation’s response to the pandemic but also about the many other ways they support and help the entire county and surrounding areas. Here are some excerpts from Michael’s presentation:
Our mission is “Connecting people who care with Causes that Matter.”
How do we do that? We help people and businesses set up funds for causes they feel strongly about and they want to support.
More than half of our funds are for scholarships that are awarded primarily to high school seniors who are heading for college or trade school.
About 16% of our funds are Agency Funds which can be established to provide a stream of income for a specific nonprofit group. One example is the Dr. Charles Miller Fund that supports the Free Clinic in providing care for patients who do not have insurance or resources for medical care.
A third type of fund is a unique category known as a Donor-Advised Fund. In this case, a specific cause is not designated at the time the fund is established; instead, the donor recommends grants from this fund over time. For example, the donor might ask the Foundation to distribute funds to his church or to local nonprofits, such as a food pantry or daycare center; or to a national non-profit organization, such as the American Red Cross.
At the end of 2019, we had 74 funds totaling $5.3 million dollars. Over the Foundation’s 20-year history, we have distributed over $2 million in grants and scholarships. Historically, we give out about 4% of the Foundation’s assets each year.
So, in a nutshell, Shenandoah Community Foundation helps people and businesses establish funds for charitable giving purposes. We have been in existence for 20 years.
COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund
We established the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund of Shenandoah County and seeded it with $35,000. After reaching out to a number of individuals and businesses, more than $163,000 has been donated to the fund.
The purpose of the fund is to offer and make grants to local non-profit and government organizations to enable them to meet the needs of community members who have been impacted by the pandemic. Since the fund was established at the end of March, we have disbursed $116,000 in grants to 19 groups. The breakdown includes:
- $34,000 for food and supplies
- $26,000 to help with rent and utilities
- $24,000 in medical-related supplies, such as prescriptions and equipment for people who are discharged from hospital stays, and PPE (personal protection equipment) for health care workers.
- $18,000 has been provided to child care centers and rec programs that are serving essential workers.
“Thank you for your inspirational talk today,” said the club’s president Ros Poplar. “I had no idea of the magnitude of what the Foundation does for the Valley. If we as a Club can assist or partner in any way please keep us in mind. Thank you for all you do for the community”
Club member Richard Torovsky was also enthusiastic about the presentation. “We were so glad Michael brought information about the Foundation and all it has accomplished in its 20 years of service to Shenandoah County.”
If your organization would like to have a speaker from the Foundation to talk about how we “Connect People Who Care With Causes That Matter,” give us a call at 540-459-7737 or use the Contact Form to get in touch.