There seems to be a pattern developing at the Golden Belt Community Foundation.
It was just a few weeks ago that GBCF announced it had reached its $10 million total fundraising goal three years early. And now it is reporting that it surpassed its GROW II challenge – also three years ahead of schedule.
The Kansas Health Foundation administers the GROW program; the acronym stands for Giving Resources to Our World. KHF recently sent $350,000 in matching funds to the local Foundation.
“This second GROW challenge was to raise between $1 and $2 million in endowment funds over six years,” GBCF Executive Director Christy Tustin said, explaining the wide range accounted for many matching funds requirements. “We finished at the end of last year even though we had until the end of 2015.”
The Foundation surpassed the goal by accumulating GROW II-eligible endowment gifts of almost $2.3 million. Its total assets are about $10.8 million.
“We will use the Kansas Health Foundation matching funds to support programs that benefit the whole community,” Tustin said, adding GBCF’s territory is Barton, Pawnee, Rush and Stafford counties. “This money can be used for anything that improves the health of our communities, such as education and promoting healthy lifestyles.”
Of the $350,000 that just came in, $300,000 is permanently endowed and the rest is for operating funds. “Our board will decide how to best use these matching funds,” Tustin commented, noting KHF had already awarded about $150,000 for the Foundation’s earlier GROW II successes.
Tustin credits the GBCF Board of Directors, and equally important, all those who donated.
“The board was taking on a big challenge, which can be exciting but scary,” Tustin said. “But credit mainly goes to donors who believe in endowment funds so that we can be here for decades to come.”
GBCF Board President Ron Sandstrom of La Crosse echoed Tustin’s statements about area residents who have contributed.
“The board and staff deserve a lot of credit but area citizens who stepped up and gave a little bit here and a little bit there made this happen,” Sandstrom said, noting any size donation is welcome. “Anyone who is thinking about leaving a legacy is encouraged to contact the Foundation. Your charitable dollars will be put to good use.”
The most important thing for donors to know about GBCF is that it is “managed professionally,” Sandstrom added. “It allows you to leverage your money to generate more earnings. We are conservative in how we approach this. We don’t go out on a limb. We set goals we think are attainable. Then, if we meet the goals early, we can celebrate.”
Steve Coen, KHF president and chief executive officer, said area residents should commend the Foundation’s efforts.
“During our long-standing partnership,” Coen said, “we have watched the Golden Belt Community Foundation develop into a respected and valued entity for the communities it serves. The speed and proficiency with which it achieved the necessary fundraising levels on this most recent challenge is a tremendous reflection on both the dedication of the GBCF and the commitment of central Kansas residents.”
For more information, contact Tustin by calling 620-792-3000.