By Judy Waters
Though the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia has been around for 29 years, people ask me daily, “What is a community foundation and what do you do?” The answer is really quite simple.
We are a charitable organization dedicated to strengthening our community for present and future generations through philanthropy. Even more simply put — we connect people who care with causes that matter most to them.
Every day we focus on helping facilitate philanthropic giving all across our community that impacts our health, vitality and quality of life. Our giving impacts education, the arts, health and human services, environmental efforts, community service, faith-based organizations, and more. Our generous donors have given back more than $52 million to our community since 1985 that have touched the lives of us all.
There are two main ways people give through our Foundation. The first is by gifting their charitable dollars to the Foundation directly. We invest those dollars collectively, then through our community grants, we identify the most pressing needs in our community as they emerge and gift those dollars back out where we feel they will do the most good. Having this pool of unrestricted dollars allows us to respond effectively to the ever-changing needs in our community.
The other way people give through our Foundation is by establishing their own donor advised fund. This option allows donors to establish a charitable savings account and as they find causes that they want to give to, we issues grants from their funds to the charities of their choice. We make giving easy by handling the administration of the fund, and the donors have their say as to where their charitable dollars are gifted.
Our donors give in many different ways: cash, securities, real estate, bequests, IRAs, charitable remainder trusts, insurance policies, through family foundations, endowments, scholarships and more. Funds can be unrestricted or directed to specific causes. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be worth billions to be a philanthropist. We accept gifts of all shapes and sizes. It is our ultimate goal to help people who want to give customize meaningful charitable giving plans and enable them with the knowledge, tools and resources to be most impactful with their giving.
As we work to connect people who care with causes that matter, I’d like to invite you to join us for an important educational program we are offering on April 29. Our Professional Advisors Committee has arranged for Jim Langford, Executive Director of the Georgia Meth Project, to speak about the effects meth is having on our community.
Georgia has the third highest number of meth users (ages 12-17) in the country and the Atlanta area has become a strategic hub for meth trafficking. Millions of dollars worth of Meth has been seized right here in Gwinnett County in recent years, so this is a growing issue we all need to be concerned about. We invite you to come learn more about this important issue on April 29 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at The 1818 Club, located at 6500 Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth. Seating is limited, so please call 770-813-3380 to make your reservation.
We look forward to bringing this educational program and others to our community. If you have causes you would like to learn more about, share your thoughts and ideas with us via our Facebook page or our website at www.cfneg.org.
Judy Waters is Executive Director of the Community Foundation.
People Helping People is a publication of the Gwinnett Coalition for Health & Human Services.
For more information contact Ellen Gerstein - firstname.lastname@example.org or at 770-995-3339.