The goal was to reach $10 million by the end of 2015 but because of several significant donations late last year, the Golden Belt Community Foundation (GBCF) is three years ahead of schedule.
“The $10 million represents the generosity of every Foundation donor since the beginning,” GBCF Executive Director Christy Tustin said. “The gifts over the past few months allowed us to surpass our goal early.”
As of now, the total assets of the Foundation are in the neighborhood of $10.7 million. Of that, approximately $1.4 million from several donors was contributed in recent months.
Max Nichols, owner of Jomax Construction Co. and lifetime Great Bend resident, is one of the year-end donors who made a significant gift to his donor-advised fund at the Foundation. Nichols wished not to specify the amount he donated but indicated he is a strong Foundation supporter and wanted to make his charitable dollars count.
The earnings from his GBCF donor-advised fund are channeled to the Golden Belt Humane Society.
“I wanted to have a choice about how the money would be used,” Nichols commented. “The Foundation was the best vehicle to do that.”
The Jomax owner noted that he recommends that others consider GBCF because of its ease and flexibility in managing charitable giving. “It’s a headache to set up a private foundation,” he noted. “The GBCF made it easy – just write a check.
“There are probably a lot more sophisticated people than myself doing charitable things,” Nichols added. “But the one thing I am short on is time. The Foundation takes care of everything.”
Another recent donor is Glenn Mull, Pawnee County farmer and cattle feeder whose family has been in this area since 1874. He also declined to mention the specific amount of his gift but indicated GBCF manages several insurance policies for him with funds earmarked for churches, foreign missions, hospitals, colleges and universities, youth organizations and museums.
“I am unaware of any other resource that provides the tools I need to administer charitable contributions,” Mull commented. “The Foundation scrutinizes the complexities and authenticates the 501(c)(3) non-profit eligibility. We have used the Foundation significantly in the past six years and are finding more ways to take advantage of what it offers.”
Like Nichols, Mull has shared information about the Foundation with others. “I told a fraternity brother about it and now he is involved too,” Mull said. “He credits me with inspiring him and I admit I liked hearing that. I hope others will contact the Foundation and learn more about it.”
The Foundation, which serves Barton, Pawnee, Rush and Stafford counties, was established in 1996. But it became more active in 2000 because of the first Kansas Health Foundation challenge; there were 37 founding donors. The $10 million goal was set several years ago and the board is considering a new goal of $20 million by 2020.
Every donor played a role in topping the goal, Director Tustin noted, adding the Foundation also is grateful to: non-profit agencies that build their endowment funds and trust GBCF to manage them; local legal and financial advisors who help clients understand GBCF’s flexibility and options; the board of directors for its vision; and those who have named GBCF in wills and trusts.
“Reaching this milestone speaks to the original vision set by the first board of directors - what we do today determines tomorrow,” Tustin said. “Many individuals and businesses have recognized the numerous ways to work with our Foundation so there will be a permanent source of support for local charities.
“We exist,” she explained, “to make it easy for individuals, families and businesses to support their favorite causes and to help meet community needs over time.”