Many Ways to Leave a Legacy

Many Ways to Leave a Legacy

The Tom Wilson Memorial Fund was established by Tom’s family to carry on his legacy in the community.

Part of what makes the Community Foundation special is that it provides so many opportunities for donors to make a difference in their communities. Through the Foundation’s many different types of funds, donors have the option of designating their support to a specific organization or program, allocating support to a specific area of interest they care about, or keeping the dollars unrestricted, and more!

Community funds, for example, help meet the greatest needs in the community each year as those needs evolve. Community funds generate the dollars that the Community Foundation awards to non-profits each year, based on a grant application process. Donor advised funds, on the other hand, allow the donor to help choose how the funds are used each year. Field of interest funds are yet another example. These funds generate dollars that are designated to a particular area of interest—education, agriculture, parks, youth, etc. There are still many other types of funds that allow the donor to choose the legacy they want to leave. To see the full list, go to and click on “Types of Funds” under “Give Today.”

A really unique way that grants are given through the Community Foundation is through the grant cycle of the Fulton County Women’s Giving Circle (FCWGC). The FCWGC was formed in 2010 by a group of local community-minded women. The group works to empower women and to support the community in which they live. They do this by contributing $120 in yearly dues. Half of the money is given in grants the same year, and half of the money is put into an endowment fund with the Community Foundation. The fund ensures that the FCWGC will have grant dollars to support charitable projects in Fulton County forever.

The FCWGC has a committee that reviews grant applications each year. Finalists are invited to the group’s annual social to give a presentation. Members then vote, and the votes determine the amount that each organization is awarded. Since 2010, the FCWGC has given away a total of $44,500 in grants.

Another grant cycle housed under the Community Foundation is through the Kewanna-Union Township Endowment Fund. This is a field of interest fund established by Kewanna’s H.E.A.R.T. (Hometown Expansion And Renewal Team), Inc. Through this fund, the group helps provide support for community events, projects, and programs that it believes will directly or indirectly benefit the citizens of Kewanna and the greater Union Township area. This fund is a field of interest fund because it doesn’t go to one specific project or program every year, but instead it supports a variety of things in a specific field of interest—in this case, a specific location.

The Community Foundation also houses many donor advised funds that allow the donor to allocate dollars to charitable projects each year. The Pike Lumber Company Fund, established in 1999, and Rochester Telephone Company Fund, established in 1995, are a couple examples of donor advised funds created by local businesses. Both funds make multiple grants each year supporting charitable projects in our community. The Tom Wilson Memorial Fund is another example. Tom Wilson was the owner of Wilson’s Grain in Rochester. After he passed away, his family formed this fund in order to carry on his legacy in the community.

That’s what the Community Foundation is here for—to help donors leave a legacy in the place they call home. Our many different fund and grant opportunities help donors to do just that.