What is a Community Fund?

Making our communities better places to live, work, and play

Over the last couple of months, the Community Foundation has featured the Annual Grant Cycle, scholarships and celebrated 25 years of serving local communities. Over the next several weeks stories will highlight our local communities, the places we call home.

Northern Minnesota is special and there are many reasons why we all love this place. Local towns, each with a distinctive history and qualities, make our area an attractive home to many residents.

The Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation supports five Community Funds. Each Community Fund is unique, taking on the various dimensions of their area, while at the same time, all providing a similar goal – to support the health and well-being of where we call home – forever.

Community Funds provide a way for citizens and businesses who have a passion for their community to give back and ensure their community remains a great place to live, work, and play.

“Community Funds have two very important aspects,” states Chris Fulton Grand Rapids Area Foundation Executive Director. “The first is that these funds can provide for all different types of emerging community needs. This is important because we don’t know what the community needs will be in 25-50 years. Second is that each Community Fund is overseen by a local advisory committee intimately connected to their community needs.”

Perhaps even more significant is that Community Funds provide a way for local – and not-so-local – people to give back to the communities they love, whether in a current gift or through estate planning.

“People don’t normally think of their community as an heir, but they should,” continues Fulton. Studies show that in the next 15-20 years, over $530M will transfer between generations in Itasca County alone. “When the younger generation moves away, as is often the case in smaller communities, so goes family wealth that was hard-earned right here in the mines, forests and local businesses.” Community Funds offer older generations a way to leave a legacy to their community, and younger generations the opportunity to acknowledge their family’s roots with a lasting legacy.

You don’t need a large estate to give to your Community Fund; all contributions are welcome and appreciated. Anyone can make a gift to the fund, and these gifts can take many forms, from simple gifts of cash, to more sophisticated gifts of assets, such as property or appreciated stock. Only the donor can answer the question: How much is my community worth to me?

The Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation Community Giving To Community campaign provides matching funds for all donations to Community Funds through a $1M grant from the Blandin Foundation. The Community Giving To Community campaign allocates the million-dollar match in equal amounts to create and build five Community Funds:

  • Deer River Area Community Fund

  • Greater Itasca Area Community Fund

  • Greenway Area Community Fund

  • Hill City Area Community Fund

  • Nashwauk Area Community Fund

More specific information and photos for each fund can be found on the Community Funds page of this website.

Please consider leaving your legacy to the place you call home. Supporting an endowed Community Fund today is about sharing your values and love of your community for future generations. All gifts and donations to Community Funds are accepted through the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation and go directly in to the specified Community Fund. You can make your donation in person, through the mail or online.

Checks must be made payable to: The Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation.

Place the name of your Community Fund on the memo line.

Donations to Community Funds are doubled in 2019 thanks to a generous matching grant by the Blandin Foundation. Double your gift – and the good it can do – today!

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350 NW 1st Ave, Suite E  | Grand Rapids, MN 55744  |  218-999-9100

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