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Pouches' Community Corner

Meet Lisa Biever, Director of Donor Services
The Community Foundation

Share a bit about The Community Foundation

The Community Foundation, established in 1997, is building a better regional community by making philanthropy easy. It manages over 100 funds with nearly $15 million in assets. All funds at The Community Foundation are permanent, extending the philanthropic impact of the donors for generations.

How does it work?

The Community Foundation connects with donors, nonprofit organizations, businesses, government, community groups, individuals and leaders to serve the current and future needs of the people throughout our region. We provide broad community leadership by bringing diverse groups of individuals and organizations together to develop community-wide solutions for problems and issues.

The Community Foundation receives gifts from individuals, corporations and organizations. These gifts are named and placed in endowment funds and invested to generate earnings. The Community Foundation coordinates with fund advisors to use these earnings to distribute grants to a variety of nonprofit programs, organizations and community-oriented charitable efforts that benefit area residents and organizations, as well as to distribute scholarships to local students.

On May 5, the foundation will sponsor the second The Community Give, a 24-hour online event when thousands of people will donate hundreds of thousands of dollars—the most raised in a single day—to support the issues and charities they are passionate about.

How does the work of the foundation impact local families?

Through its grants to local nonprofits and its scholarships, The Community Foundation impacts families throughout the region. The variety of funds reflects the many interests of our donors and needs of the community.

One of the foundation's strategies for preserving and growing the quality of life in our region is supporting higher education for area students. Generous individuals and families, companies and organizations establish endowed scholarship funds and the proceeds from these funds benefit deserving students. The Community Foundation currently administers almost 40 scholarship funds.

Is there a place for youth in local philanthropy?

Absolutely! We have a successful program called Youth in Philanthropy. It teaches area teenagers the importance of giving and serving, encourages youth involvement in philanthropy and provides ways for local young people to take action on issues that are important to them.

The program consists of 40 sophomore, junior and senior high school students from the counties of Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George and Caroline and the City of Fredericksburg. Each grant cycle challenges these young people to demonstrate leadership, solve problems, study proposals, manage budgets, work together and present their views to an audience of peers and adults.

Over the years our YIP participants have shown themselves capable of tackling and funding issues such as teen pregnancy, homelessness, domestic violence, sexual assault and other major social concerns.

The Community Foundation also holds several family legacy funds. Many of the families who have created these charitable funds involve the entire family in deciding which issues they want to address.

What is The Community Give?

On May 5th, the foundation will sponsor the second The Community Give, a 24-hour online event when thousands of people will donate hundreds of thousands of dollars—the most raised in a single day—to support the issues and charities they are passionate about. Even children can participate! They did last year!

Participating nonprofits can earn cash prizes in addition to the donations given online by individual donors. Examples of the incentive prizes include: A $10,000 grand prizes to the nonprofit that raises the most money and another $10,000 grand prize for the nonprofit with the most unique donors. Each hour for 24 hours, $1,000 will be awarded at random to participating nonprofits — this year two nonprofits will win $500 each hour.

Last year, 115 nonprofits participated. In just one day, 4,877 gifts were received and $544,481 was raised. For 2015, the foundation is setting its sights even higher. They believe 7,500 donors can be rallied to raise at least $750,000.

Whatever your passion: literacy, hunger, children and families, animal welfare, education...this is your time to make your mark!

The May 5 event will be start at 12 a.m. and run until midnight. All donations must be made online.

How did the Community Foundation get the $100,000 for incentive prizes?

The money for the incentive prizes come from proceeds from some Community Foundation funds and donations from generous individuals and companies in the region. For a full list of our sponsors, click here.

Does the foundation raise money for itself during The Community Give?


Why would The Community Foundation take on such a big fund-raising project that only benefits other nonprofits?

Philanthropists rely upon The Community Foundation to "match" them with strong nonprofits. The future platform-of-choice for charitable giving is online...and the future is now. It is imperative that we help nonprofits flourish in the new world online giving.

The Community Give, a 24-hour marathon day of online fundraising among thousands of donors and 100-plus charities throughout the region, enables us to equip the participating nonprofits with the tools and techniques they will need to build their online donor bases.

Social media can be intimidating for nonprofits, especially because so many are understaffed. Through The Community Give, we equip the charities with the tools they need and a cause that they and the whole community can rally behind.

The Community Give also builds awareness about what our local nonprofits do. For example, a patron of the arts may be familiar with five local arts-related nonprofits. But when that patron goes online on May 5, they will find 20 other arts-related nonprofits and it will be easy because all of the participants are listed by category.


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