The other day, I had the pleasure of having coffee with Pat Bauer, who is the executive director of the Southern Illinois Community Foundation. I had never heard of the foundation, and just had stumbled upon their brochure at the Regional Leaders’ Breakfast at John A. Logan College last month. The brochure caught my interest about the foundation and its mission, and I was curious to learn more. Pat Bauer was gracious enough to meet with and explain more about the Foundation and how they operate.
Southern Illinois Community Foundation
First, I learned that the foundation’s mission is to serve the 17 southern most counties in Illinois through philanthropy. The way they achieve this is by assisting donors as they identify, plan and give to their favorite charity, cause or non-profit organization. The foundation is actually governed by a volunteer board of directors that are skilled at managing charitable investments and working with local community groups and area non-profits to link them with donors, and thereby improving the quality of life in our region.
Benefits of The Foundation
I know one of Pat’s stronger points of the foundation was that we live in such a beautiful area, Southern Illinois, and with the billions of dollars that is due to change hands over the next 20-50 years, the foundation strives to keep most of those assets in the area to give back to the community. What I found really intriguing about the foundation is that it didn’t have to be towards the general region; you could actually set up endowment funds that are either specific to your county, your home town, or even set up a family endowment fund that you can determine how you want the endowment to pay out.
Overall, it was a good meeting. I encourage those that are interested in philanthropy to take a look at their website. I think you’ll be surprised to know that you don’t need a lot of money to set up an endowment fund. As little as $5,000 will get you started and get you towards giving towards a charity or a cause that you believe in.
More more information, please contact Pat Bauer: