COMMENTARY

Truman Heartland Community Foundation

February 25, 2014 

As I write this column I am enjoying watching the snow quickly disappear from the landscape as I periodically look out my window overlooking Children’s Mercy East. Of course, I think some of the huge piles in parking lots will probably be with us when the next snowfall comes, but we can enjoy the spring-like weather for now.

A key tool for community foundations is endowment. Endowments are not here today and gone tomorrow like the snow that recently blanketed our community. They are a permanent source of support for charitable organizations in our community. They are structured, managed and invested to ensure that the financial support they provide 20 years or more from now will equal today’s support in inflation adjusted dollars.

For example a $100,000 endowment established today with our current 5 percent spending policy would make grants of $5,000 this year for charity. With a 7 percent average investment return in 20 years the endowment would be providing $7,284 in grants that year and would have made cumulative grants totaling more than $121,000. In thirty years cumulative grants would be more than $200,000. That is the power of an endowment.

Our community was fortunate last year to receive an incredible gift from one of our very charitable citizens who understood the power of an endowment.

Carl Jelley passed away unexpectedly last year and made provisions in his estate plans to create an endowment for children’s education. Your community foundation is honored to be the trustee and home for the Jelley Family Foundation Endowment for Children’s Education. From the initial proceeds from Jelley’s estate, this endowment will provide grants of $80,000 in 2014 and more annually in future years once the entire estate is settled.

Guidelines for grants from this endowment can be found on our website www.thcf.org by clicking on the grants and scholarships tab. Our grants committee is accepting letters of interest which are due by April 3. These letters of interest will be submitted for the first time online this year so please visit our website for details. You will also find there guidelines for our other Annual Community Grants program which should provide grants totaling more than $180,000 this year.

Our community is fortunate to have many charitable people who care deeply about the health and wellbeing of our community. It’s an honor and a pleasure for the Truman Heartland Community Foundation to serve them and help them leave their legacy and fulfill their charitable giving dreams.

Phil Hanson has been the president of the Truman Heartland Community foundation since January 2010. Raised in the Raytown area he went to Rockhurst University for his undergraduate and UMKC for his MPA.

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