Community foundations are pubic charities operated for the sole purpose of supporting the specific needs of the community they serve. They do this by pooling donations used to address specific community needs through support of local nonprofit organizations. A strong community foundation offers a variety of opportunities for local residents to contribute to their community, often through investment vehicles like donor-advised funds, endowments, scholarships, field of interest funds, giving circles and more. Often, these donations provide valuable valuable tax benefits to the donor.
In Fountain Hills, residents are fortunate to have the Fountain Hills Community Foundation (FHCF), a 28 year-old organization which has facilitated more than $1.5 million in giving to local groups who support the youth, seniors and families in the area.
Today, more and more local families are utilizing the services of the FHCF to help them “give back” to the community. As the community has matured, it has become the adopted hometown for many who have spent decades enjoying its small town character. Indeed, there is also a growing trend of residents who were born and raised here since the town was established in the early 1970’s. Many of the graduates of the first Fountain Hills High School graduating class of 1994 now have their own children, with three generations of family calling the Fountain Hills community their home.
“We feel there’s no more important element that helps define the future of our committee than helping locals leave their money to help the community they love,” FHCF President, Dori Wittrig, said. “As the foundation has grown and local families entrust their charitable giving to us, we are charged with providing quality investment vehicles and adequate reporting of their charitable giving activities.”
As the community has matured, so has the FHCF. In 1995, a group of local visionaries established the Sunridge Foundation to provide financial support to needy hometown organizations. Today as the Fountain Hills Community Foundation, a hardworking board of directors and committee members actively design the strategies for fundraising, disbursement and management of funds as well as the handling of sensitive data.
“It’s imperative that we maintain donor information in a confidential manner, which requires a commitment to the proper systems and technologies,” Dori said. “I’m proud of the work our directors do to facilitate the needs of both the donors as well as the nonprofit groups. It’s rewarding work! We receive reports from our local nonprofit recipients on a weekly basis about the good works they are doing on behalf of families, youth, and our seniors.”