Marshfield Area Community Foundation, Inc. is a public, 501-C-3 charity. There are 30 community foundations in Wisconsin and more than 750 in the nation. The purpose of all community foundations is to accumulate charitable dollars that impact a specific geographic region in areas such as education, the arts, economic development, recreation, environmental protection, health care, and social services. They may be relatively small, as we are (assets of $16 million), or very large, as is the Greater Milwaukee Foundation (assets over $400 million).
Most people are familiar with private foundations, established by individuals, families, or corporations. Typically, in order to establish a private foundation, one has to have considerable wealth. You could say Community Foundations are much more democratic. We are, in a sense, an umbrella foundation containing many small foundations. We call those small foundations "funds."
Here's how it works:
- We help people with charitable intent; that is, someone who would like to set up a scholarship, perhaps, or a fund benefiting a charitable or non-profit entity (a church, a school, or Scouts) or a category (senior citizens or underprivileged youth).
- They wish to establish a means of providing ongoing grants to the beneficiary of their choice.
- For as little as $10,000, we can establish a fund with the Community Foundation that achieves the donor's original intent. The donor names the fund and indicates the charitable purpose of the fund. We handle all the administrative details, all the paperwork, the accounting, the IRS reporting, the auditing, etc.
- We publicize the funds as appropriate, we communicate with the original fund donors, providing them quarterly financial statements and other information. We invest our assets so they can grow and become more valuable with time.
- Besides these endowment funds (that are usually intended to last forever), we also manage project specific funds. These funds are established by an organization for the purpose of some sort of short term project...usually a capital improvement project. Our project specific funds have helped build a new baseball stadium (Hackman Field), the new pavilion in Wildwood Park, the Griese Park soccer fields, the Marshfield Community Athletic Facilities, and others. These funds have often been partnerships with the city, in which the city provided partial funding and private donors provided the rest through our fund. Once the project is completed, the fund is either spent down to zero or remaining money is converted into a sustained fund that will provide ongoing maintenance or improvements for the original project.
- In addition to annual grants from our named funds, we also award grants from our Commnuity Grants Fund which provides local nonprofits the opportunity to apply for competitive grants. These discretionary grants provide the Foundation its greatest flexibility in responding to and addressing new and changing community needs. Complete information about all our grants is available on the Grants from Funds page.
- Our funds are community centered—the funds we raise stay right here and help support a variety of charitable and philanthropic purposes in Marshfield and the surrounding area. Our Unrestricted Fund is partially dependent on annual public contributions. An unrestricted gift to Marshfield Area Community Foundation, Inc. directly enriches the quality of life we all share, thanks to the work of many organizations and individuals (see Making a Charitable Gift page.)
- We are a corporate form organization. Our investments are held by Associated Trust Company and Wealth Management. They do all the actual investing of our money with oversight from our Board. Our Board is broadly representative of the community. Some of them are at-large members of the board, others are outside appointments (see Our Board and Staff page.) All of them are highly respected individuals in our service area (see Geographic Service Area page.)
The Foundation's Board and Staff are proud of the impact Marshfield Area Community Foundation, Inc. has had in the community and treasure the trust this community has placed in the Foundation. We hope to hear from you. We will do our best to answer your questions. We value your suggestions.