Community – something with which we are all familiar and to which we all belong, but it can mean different things to different people. It may simply be a shared place to live, or it may evoke feelings of purpose and belonging. Although the definition can be ambiguous, one thing is certain. Great communities happen when citizens come together and work toward common goals, while bettering everyone in the process.
At CFCG, we serve 21 counties across Central Georgia, and each community is as unique as the individuals who call it home. They each have their own needs that change and evolve over time, but when philanthropic opportunities are available, every day individuals can join in supporting efforts to meet those needs and, in turn, strengthen the community for everyone. Community-based philanthropy gives people the opportunity to come together over what they care about and act on their passions. And that is exactly what is happening in Houston County.
Local leaders recognized the need to establish a funding source to support the work of the community’s nonprofit organizations working to improve the lives of those in Houston County and thus the Fund for Houston County was born. The goal is simple – raise enough money to build an endowment fund. Then award grants that address the community’s most pressing needs and transformative opportunities now and in the future.
The Fund for Houston County exists to encourage local philanthropy and allows donors to support their community in perpetuity. Whether it be an individual, a family, or a business, anyone can give any amount to support the projects, organizations and initiatives that define Houston County. Every dollar counts, and every dollar contributes to consistent, long-term change.
Endowment funds often raise thoughts of large gifts from a single donor and may seem out of reach for many. Despite the common misconception, an endowment can act as a vehicle that allows individuals to donate at all levels toward a common cause. In this case, the gifts from individual community members collectively make a lasting difference on the lives of people in Houston County.
What makes this community initiative so special is its local approach to positioning the community for success now and in the future. The Fund for Houston County is composed of local funds from local people with local decision makers identifying local needs. An advisory committee of local citizens annually reviews grant requests and decides how to allocate grant dollars to best serve Houston County. No one can predict the future needs of a community, which is why community funds like the Fund for Houston County build financial resources and then put systems into place to ensure those resources are available to support the most critical needs today and for generations to come.
Local funds like this one hold so much power to change the future. Donations may come in small doses, but the impacts they make are invaluable. The Community Foundation of Central Georgia is passionate about our role in this mission and creating a ripple of meaningful change across the community.