Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation (SICF) is one of over 700 community foundations around the country and is part of the fastest growing segment of philanthropy in the U.S. Although they vary slightly in final form, all community foundations share a common purpose: to serve as bridges between donors in the community and the institutions whose collective mission is to improve the quality of life for everyone.
What is a community foundation?
Each community foundation is made up of a collection of charitable funds established by various donors, which are then pooled and invested together so that the income provides a steady resource for the community. Community foundations make grants to groups from funds established by individuals, families, businesses, and others that want to support the work of nonprofits, schools, and other groups addressing community concerns.
Community foundations are knowledgeable about the regions they serve and the choices available to donors that help them reach their philanthropic and financial goals. They are governed by community leaders and are accountable to the communities they serve. While community foundations focus on the regions where they are located, they are able to direct grants to groups anywhere in the country, and internationally, in order to fulfill donors' interests.
A community foundation is both permanent and flexible. Many charitable funds are set up to address one issue; but community foundations are set up to focus on an entire community or region. As the community changes, the foundation responds to the changes, and will always be there to support the community.
Those who do their charitable giving through a community foundation can make contributions for the general benefit of the community, or designate their funds for special purposes. Professional institutional investors manage investments of the funds held by a community foundation, while grants are approved by a group of knowledgeable citizens representing the public interest.