Beaver Dam Area Community Foundation Ready To Invest In Quality Of Life

(Beaver Dam) The Fond du Lac Area Foundation recently announced the establishment of the Beaver Dam Area Community Foundation as an affiliate fund.   The Beaver Dam Area Community Foundation will serve the City of Beaver Dam and its surrounding areas by supporting programs and projects intended to improve the quality of life and build a stronger community.

The idea of a Beaver Dam Area Community Foundation was started by local residents and business people in the Beaver Dam-area.

Tom Heffron, a 1970 graduate of Beaver Dam High School, is one of the founding board members of the Beaver Dam Area Community Foundation and an early champion of the idea. “Beaver Dam Area has always been a very generous community for many building projects, nonprofit agencies, and services but has never had a community wide Foundation similar to many smaller and larger cities in our area and the state,” said Heffron. “The new Beaver Dam Area Community Foundation, with the guidance and technical support of the Fond du Lac Area Foundation, will provide the opportunity for a needed and coordinated long term funding source for the many worthy Dodge Co nonprofit agencies and services.”

“A community foundation is one marker of a healthy community,” said Fond du Lac Area Foundation Executive Director Joe Braun.  “It shows that people are willing to invest in their community’s strengths and support its needs.  I’m so grateful to be working with a passionate generous community like Beaver Dam.”

The Beaver Dam Area Community Foundation is now able to accept tax-deductible charitable donations. Heffron’s encourages others who grew up in the community to consider donating.  “It’s really simple for me as an alumnus: It’s payback time,” said Heffron.  “I was very fortunate to have grown up in Beaver Dam. It has survived very well over the years compared to other small towns in the area. By writing a check, you are saying ‘Keep up the good work!’”

The Fond du Lac Area Foundation will handle the administrative details for the funds that come into the Beaver Dam Area Foundation. “Our job is to do oversee the legal and administrative aspects so our affiliate funds can focus on raising money to award as grants to benefit their own community,” added Joe Braun, Executive Director of the Fond du Lac Area Foundation. “The Fond du Lac Area Foundation is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the funds are managed and dispersed in accordance with all laws and policies.”

Affiliates benefit from the administrative support, guidance and philanthropic expertise provided by The Fond du Lac Area Foundation and their staff, as well as the dedication and vision of local leaders within the communities being served.

Heffron added, “With the availability of five different types of funds (Undesignated, Designated, Field of Interest, Donor Advised, and Legacy Funds), individuals, groups/service clubs, agencies, organizations, and existing area foundations have an opportunity to establish and direct funds to their desired charities now and into the future.”

“I am excited about the future of Beaver Dam and this foundation will only help strengthen our community in so many positive ways,” said Patrick Lutz, founding board member.

Serving the Beaver Dam Area Community Foundation as advisory board of directors are local leaders:  President Tom Heffron, Vice President Patrick Lutz, Secretary Steve Westra, Treasurer- TBD, Mayor Becky Glewen, City Attorney Maryann Schacht, BDUSD Superintendent Mark DiStefano, Mary Vogl-Rauscher, Cassandra Schmidt, Marti Jindra, Brian Jindra, Marge Jorgensen , Barb Link, American Bank President John Oathoat, Jeff Rehberg, Diane Lutz, and Bobbi Marck.

These local leaders are charged with educating their neighbors about creating a “charitable savings account” to benefit their own community and making decisions about grant distributions.

A community foundation is a public charity that typically focuses on supporting a geographical area, primarily by facilitating and pooling donations used to address community needs, invest in community strengths and support local nonprofits. They are dedicated to improving the lives of people in a defined local geographic area. Community foundations are funded by donations from local individuals, families, and businesses who want their money to stay in their own community.

A community foundation’s grantmaking program is supported both by donations designated for immediate distribution and income from the foundation’s endowed funds. An endowed fund or endowment is a permanent source of funds that is invested for long-term growth. Each year, some of the funds (typically around four-percent) are disbursed to fulfill the fund’s purpose.  As the invested balance grows so does the amount of the annual grant so that more money is available for distribution over time. Endowed funds allow your family name to live on for perpetuity.

“The five-year goal of the Beaver Dam Area Community Fund is have 25 funds with a total of $3 million in assets,” said Heffron. “Advisory board members are available for presentations to individuals, groups, and organizations in 2019-2020.”

The Fond du Lac Area Foundation was established in 1975 and has experienced excellent support from donors growing from one charitable fund to over 360 funds.  This growth now allows the Foundation to annually provide over $1,500,000 in grants back to our nonprofit community.