Quantcast

Community foundation gets $500K gift

The Evanston Community Foundation has received a new gift of $500,000 to make major gift challenge grants starting this year.

“This extraordinary effort will be known as the Partners for the Future Fund," says Sara Schastok, the foundation’s president.

The Evanston Community Foundation has received a new gift of $500,000 to make major gift challenge grants starting this year.

“This extraordinary effort will be known as the Partners for the Future Fund," says Sara Schastok, the foundation’s president.

Schastok says, "Generous and thoughtful donors will draw upon expertise within the Evanston Community Foundation to make a series of investments in the capacity of high-performing Evanston organizations."  Each recipient will receive matching funds in the range of $50,000 to $100,000.

Partners for the Future is a long-term project.  Over the course of five to ten years, a series of organizations will be awarded 1:1 matching gift challenge grants to double their donors’ new and increased giving.

Each organization will have twelve months to meet its fundraising objectives.  Funds can be used for current operations, held in operating reserves, or used to create or add to endowments. Partners for the Future grantees will be incorporated into meetings and initiatives with other ECF grantee networks.

Implementation of the project will incorporate periodic assessments to measure the progress of selected organizations and highlight key strategies and lessons that will contribute to the knowledge base that the Foundation brings to its work with other organizations.

The Evanston Community Foundation has eight years of success with matching gift challenges and with capacity-building grant making.

“Our donors are experienced on-the-ground philanthropists who have seen how challenge grants have benefited ECF well beyond the time limit of the challenge,” says Schastok, noting that a similar 2003 matching gift challenge helped the Evanston Community Foundation secure new gifts of $122,000 from ten donors within the twelve-month matching period—and more than $1 million from these same donors in the five years since the challenge ended. “That’s leverage—especially since most of these dollars have been made to our endowment,” she added.

“The goal of these grants is not simply to provide one year of funding but rather to strengthen the long-term capacity of organizations to fulfill their missions and increase their impact on the Evanston community,” says Jenny Ellis Richards of the Pratt Richards Group, a consultant engaged by ECF to help launch the project, “and the Foundation itself stands to benefit from implementing and assessing the program.  ECF is a unique resource in our community, and an exceptional asset for Evanston.”

The Evanston Community Foundation was established in 1986 to pool residents’ charitable gifts into endowment funds that address Evanston’s changing needs through innovative grant-making.

The Foundation holds endowments for other nonprofit organizations and provides leadership in bringing people together around issues of community concern. The Foundation has made more than $2.8 million in competitive grants to over 175 organizations serving Evanston residents and has distributed more than $5 million since 1987.  The Foundation is governed by a board of twenty-one community members. Its assets are $11 million.

 

Editors’ Picks