Market Trends for Philanthropic Giving in 2018

Last year was defined by steady global economic growth, low inflation, and accommodative monetary policies which helped fuel a rally in asset prices. The outlook for 2018 is healthy, and though the new tax plan may complicate giving strategies, many are increasing their planned giving.

Here are three things to consider when planning your philanthropic giving for 2018:

Capital Gains are Up

Thanks to the recovering domestic and global economy, capital gains are up, which means that gifting stock could be very advantageous for donors. Donors can improve their efficiency of giving by making a gift of stock when shares are experiencing a significant increase in value

Gift of Stock.png

Market is Up

Business confidence is at a high, driving market growth onward and upward. This means that individuals may want to pull their IRA required distributions now. It is possible to direct the required minimum distribution to a charity, and it will not be reported as taxable income on your tax return – this is called a “qualified charitable distribution.”

Bunching Makes Sense

In response to the new tax plan, one giving strategy being considered is “bunching,” where donors double up on contributions every other year to beat the standard deduction. Bunching, however, has the potential to be harmful to charity or non-profit organizations who rely on a steady stream of donations for annual operations. This is where a donor-advised fund can help. A donor-advised fund allows contributors to donate money and take a tax deduction in the same year, and then distribute the money to selected charitable organizations over time.

Contact the Marietta Community Foundation today to learn more about how you can maximize your charitable giving in 2018.

Local Family Aims to Help Others with BiPolar Disorder

In 2004, Bill and Kathie Hollister lost their son Jason to suicide. Jason had suffered with Bipolar Disorder for quite some time. Wanting to help others who face similar struggles, the Hollister family established the Jason Hollister Memorial Fund in 2010 in memory of their beloved son.

The purpose of this fund is to financially assist families and individuals dealing with bipolar disease. “In 2004, there were very few medicines available to treat bipolar disease,” said Bill Hollister. “As the name implies, Bipolar is either up; where the person is feeling euphoric and they feel so great that they often choose to not take their medicine. Or, on the other end of the spectrum - especially when they skip their medicine as described above - they hit bottom harder and the ensuing depression is worse than normal.”

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a serious brain and behavioral disorder that’s characterized by severe changes in mood and energy. These changes in behavior, often referred to as “mood episodes,” are defined by the types of symptoms a person is experiencing: manic, depressive, or mixed. These changes are drastically different from a person’s usual behavior and affect a person’s ability to handle their day-to-day tasks.

Over 5.7 million adults in the United States have bipolar disorder, about 2.6% of the population. The most common age at which symptoms begin is 25. “People who suffer from bipolar disease are generally embarrassed of the disease and will not reach out for the ongoing help they need,” said Bill. “Then there are those who experience symptoms but do not realize that they are bipolar.”

Bill hopes the Jason Hollister Memorial Fund will help provide funds to those who require assistance identifying and treating the disorder. Through this fund, the Hollister family aims to help educate the community on recognizing the symptoms of bipolar disorder, which include extreme changes in energy, activity, sleep and mood. They also hope to break down the stigma of this disease so that individuals feeling more comfortable seeking the help they need.  

If you or someone you know suffers from bipolar disorder, the Jason Hollister Memorial Fund at the Marietta Community Foundation is here to help.

Charitable Giving Under the New Tax Plan

The new tax plan recently approved by Congress nearly doubles the standard deduction for individuals and families. While this aims to simplify the filing process for most Americans, it could complicate giving strategies for many who regularly deduct their charitable contributions each year.

One strategy being considered is “bunching,” where donors double up on contributions every other year to beat the standard deduction. Bunching, however, has the potential to be harmful to charity or non-profit organizations who rely on a steady stream of donations for annual operations.

This is where a donor-advised fund can help. A donor-advised fund allows contributors to donate money and take a tax deduction in the same year, and then distribute the money to selected charitable organizations over time.

Donor Advised Fund Infographic - Greater Kansas City Community Foundation.png

A recent article in the New York Times explains it this way:

“Someone could “bunch” several years of donations to a donor-advised fund into one year, and take the tax deduction, but then have the fund pay out the gift annually in equal amounts. The charity would get the same amount each year, even in years when the donor did not itemize deductions.

The donor does not directly control the money once deposited, but tells the fund’s administrator how to spend it, by selecting an eligible charity and an amount to be donated. The money may also be invested depending on the distribution to the nonprofit group, potentially increasing the amount available for contributions.”

A donor-advised fund is an easy and cost-effective way to support your favorite nonprofits anywhere in the country, at any time you choose. Community Foundation staff will confirm that your recommended charities meet IRS requirements and then issue grant checks to the organizations. Donors retains an advisory capacity in recommending grants from the fund.

Contact us today to learn more about establishing or contributing to a donor-advised fund.

Friends of the Library Donates $19,500 to Marietta City Schools Literacy Program

Last month, the Friends of the Washington County Public Library, an agency fund at the Marietta Community Foundation, approved a request for $19,500.00 to expand resources at different levels in the literacy initiatives program in Marietta City Schools’ elementary schools.

The donation will be used to purchase additional items for the leveled libraries at each elementary school. Jona Hall, Ed. D, Director of Curriculum and Technology at Marietta City Schools, explained that the school district adopted the Scholastic leveled libraries for instructing reading this year. “The method use is called ‘Guided Reading,’” said Hall. “Guided reading allows for teachers to focus their attention on small groups so that differentiated learning can take place as opposed to whole group instruction that often delivers the lesson to students in the middle; the so called “average” student.”

Leveled libraries offer a variety of high interested leveled reading materials that cover a larger range of reading abilities, making it easier for teachers to instruct at each learning level. As students grow in their reading, they can move into other groups fluidly.

“The approved funding from the Friends of the Washington County Public Library will allow us to add additional titles to our growing libraries,” said Hall. “What we have found is that some levels within the library are used more frequently than others because they may be used by multiple grade levels. So, we have taken a look at the most frequently used levels and added to them at each school.”

Hall believes reading is an essential skill for survival. Children need to establish a strong foundation with reading, decoding, comprehension, and writing in order to be successful citizen. By using guided reading, teachers can differentiate their instruction that will allow them to offer supports for those in need, while also pushing those that are ready for acceleration.

First Grade Teacher Jessica Smith with students at Putnam Elementary School. 

First Grade Teacher Jessica Smith with students at Putnam Elementary School. 

“I compare it to the building of a house,” said Hall. “Without a solid foundation there is truly no need to worry about decorating and furniture. You have to put the priority where it is needed most. Investing in reading and literacy is an investment in our future and our future citizens.”

The faculty and staff at Marietta City Schools are grateful for the generosity of the Friends of the Library. Hall said they look forward to inviting them into our classrooms and allowing them to experience the rich instruction that is occurring for all of our students.

“With their donation, we can ensure that reading instruction will continue to offer high interest content for all levels,” said Hall.

The Friends of the Library are engaged in assisting the Washington County Public Library in their efforts to encourage reading at all levels in the community. To this end, the Friends of the Library fund the Summer Reading Programs for children, teens, and most recently, adults.

“We also fund a reading program for learning impaired adults,” said Sharon Gegner, Treasurer of the Friends of the Library. “It is within our scope and pleasure to assist the Marietta schools in their new reading program at the Elementary Schools.”

The generosity and support of donors for important causes like literacy truly changes lives and keeps our area strong. To make a difference and fight for the initiative that inspires you, contact us today.

Making Space for New Activities

What does it look like when a vision that has been two years in the making begins to take form? In any given project there are so many interconnected and interdependent parts that all need to fall into place at the right time to ensure the desired effect. Business startups need to navigate their business model and brand identity while securing seed money, developing a product prototype, establishing a customer base, starting production runs and so much more. For Don Godfrey, these moving parts are vastly different and in many ways less complicated—yet they may still never come together.

Don spends his days entrenched in the world of academe, introducing a spectrum of generations to writing rhetoric, world mythologies and great stories of fact and fiction. Between time with the family and inevitable errands and chores, his evenings are largely filled with grading, responding to student inquiries and managing the upcoming assignments and lessons for an array of classes. Teaching college is a fulfilling career for Don—one that allows him to use his education to inspire others. While not every student that passes through Don’s class is destined to come away with a new found love of English, literature or writing, they do come away with something. Teachers touch the lives of countless people in untold ways. Yet sometimes, a fulfilling career and a loving family are not quite enough and beneath the surface simmers a desire for something altogether different.

In contrast to this academic lifestyle, Don wishes to explore something active and hands-on that has a direct, tangible result. Ever the educator, the aspect of learning something new is still important, yet for this hobby, the main goal is to create. For several years now, Don has devoured everything he could about beginning blacksmithing. From setting up your own DIY home forge, to tool making, working with scrap metals and even apprenticeships. Such a hobby, however, is not inexpensive.

When your livelihood does not depend on learning a new skill or creating a new item, it can be difficult to justify the expense of a new hobby. Having less at stake also makes it easy to put your interests on the back burner for ‘sometime later.’ Just like entrepreneurs and small business startups, crafters and hobbyists depend on having the necessary education, training, equipment, location and materials in order to make things.

ivars-krutainis-158993.jpg

Two years ago, the Building Bridges to Careers Epicenter, a comprehensive, entrepreneurial education center currently located inside the Marietta Armory, began working on a solution for all of the area’s potential makers. On Wednesday, November 15, Building Bridges to Careers announced their exciting expansion to the former Tenney & Associates building on Lancaster Street in Marietta. The larger location enables the Epicenter to expand their offerings and introduce a new makerspace to the area as well as learning labs.

Makerspaces provide a place to experiment with a new hobby that would typically require a hefty investment in both equipment and space. They let you try a new skill without a huge upfront cost, benefit from professional instruction and practice in a safe environment. Through numerous partnerships with area non-profits, including the Marietta Community Foundation and local colleges, the Epicenter expansion is poised to allow scores of makers and would-be hobbyists like Don the chance to experience traditional skills like woodworking as well as new technologies like 3D printing. This new addition to the Mid-Ohio Valley gives community members of all ages a new range of activities to enjoy as a family. In addition to simple tinkering and exploring, such spaces allow you to create a one-time project, like a dining room table or a bookcase, without investing in all the tools you need upfront.

Don Godfrey is not an entrepreneur, but he is still a maker. Like so many of us he feels deeply the desire to create something real and, perhaps, unique. Our diversity of talents and interests are the very things that make us well-rounded individuals and lead to satisfying lives.

While the concept of makerspaces has been around for some time now, the Epicenter makerspace is an entirely new endeavor for Building Bridges to Careers. The matching grant provided by the Marietta Community Foundation, coupled with additional support through other partnerships, has enabled the kick-off of this new project and location, yet they still need community support. It is now time for the would-be makers to join together and help shape their space however they are able. Contact the Marietta Community Foundation to learn how you can help.

Helping for the Holidays

As Charles Dickens famously wrote, “it is at Christmastime that want is most keenly felt, and abundance rejoices.” Thanks to generous donations to unrestricted funds throughout the year, the Marietta Community Foundation was able to help make a difference for community members in need this holiday season.

“Although need is felt all year long, it is often magnified during the holidays,” said Captain Aaron Moore of the Salvation Army. “When people are in the giving spirit, the need is amplified for those who aren’t able to be quite as generous.”

Each Christmas, millions of children go without Christmas gifts because their parents cannot afford them. Financial and emotional stress dampen Christmas cheer for those living in poverty. Through the Angel Tree Program, the Salvation Army helps put new clothes and toys under the tree for 1 million children every year, making spirits a little brighter.

This year, the Marietta Community Foundation hosted an Angel Tree in the office with tags for ten local children. The Foundation was pleased to say all ten children were thoughtfully shopped for, thanks to a local merchant, the Foundation staff and Board, and unrestricted funding.

IMG_5738.JPG

In addition to the Angel Tree Program, our local Salvation Army also assists families by giving food vouchers. The Foundation was able to help fund the remaining vouchers for $2,000, to assist 111 local families.

“The blessings we receive from the community in order to be able to give back are in abundance,” said Captain Moore. “It is truly a blessing to witness the generosity of the folks from Washington County.”

Oftentimes, especially during the colder months, many need help to simply keep the lights on and the heat running. The Caring Connection is a not-for-profit organization that provides direct delivery of basic human services to those in need in Washington County. The Foundation was able to donate $2,000 to Caring Connection to help cover utility disconnection notices and deposits for electric, natural gas and propane, and water.

“Never before have we seen so many shut off notices in our region,” said Executive Director, Jim Tilley. “We are grateful to be able to offer much needed help, especially during this time of year.”

It is through donations to unrestricted funds that the Foundation is able to give back in this way over the holidays. To help continue to make a difference in our community, consider making a donation today.

Supporting the Growth of Innovation

The Marietta Community Foundation has made a matching donation of $15,000 to Building Bridges to Careers for the expansion of their Epicenter. This expansion will include an all new location, in the Tenney building located on Lancaster Street in Marietta, OH. The new location affords the Epicenter enough space to introduce a larger incubator space for entrepreneurs as well as a new makerspace that is open to the community.

Currently located in the Armory on Front Street in Marietta, the Epicenter includes an incubator space with around 1200 sq.ft. Used as a shared office space by startups and small businesses, the incubator space provides entrepreneurs with a physical business location where they share equipment and split overhead costs with other entrepreneurs. Businesses in the incubator space benefit from these lower costs but also give back by working with area students to fulfil the overall Building Bridges to Careers mission of creating successful students and prosperous communities. This incubator space is the first of its kind for the Mid-Ohio Valley area.

Knobel_Clutch_Epicenter_021317-4.jpg

The Epicenter has received a tremendous amount of support from numerous area partners from its opening in January 2017 to its current expansion. The Marietta Community Foundation, Voinovich School and Alex Bandar (founder of the Columbus, Ohio makerspace, the Idea Foundry) have all been instrumental in securing the new Epicenter location. The family run Ross Foundation has been one such supporter. Through their own initiatives with Innovate MOV, the Ross Foundation identified the importance of support systems for up and coming entrepreneurs. Though their primary focus is on the revitalization of Downtown Parkersburg, the Ross Foundation identified the benefit a larger incubator and all-ages makerspace would bring to the entire Mid-Ohio Valley.

Though a newer concept for the area, incubators and makerspaces have been popular in larger cities for several years now as a way to stimulate the economy through support of small businesses. The spaces allow small businesses and entrepreneurs to use shared equipment while creating product prototypes or even small production runs. These spaces can run from basic to advanced, housing equipment like sewing machines or 3D printers, and be centered on specific age ranges, like pre-K to 20 years, or open to all.

Knobel_Clutch_Epicenter_021317-7.jpg

“The introduction of an incubator and makerspace for the area allows us to be more competitive with larger cities. Akin to the Idea Foundry in Columbus, Ohio, our makerspace will provide a shared workspace for a wide variety of makers, crafters, hobbyists and aspiring entrepreneurs of all ages,” said Tasha Werry, Building Bridges to Careers Director. “We hope to continue receiving community support for our efforts to provide a unique community outlet for creativity and innovation.”

The Epicenter is still seeking funders to ensure the success of this new expansion. Interested parties can help by spreading the word to generate additional community interest, donating materials or supplies directly to Building Bridges to Careers, or providing sponsorship or funding to the center through the Marietta Community Foundation.

Peoples Bank Helps Purchase New K-9

Through a generous donation from Peoples Bank, the Marietta Community Foundation helped purchase a new K9 unit, K9 Rita, for the Washington County Sheriff’s Department.

As a recognition of her 40 years of service to the bank, Peoples Bank honored Carol Schneeberger, Chief Administrative Officer, with the opportunity to select recipients of a charitable contribution from the bank. Concerned about the drug problem facing our community, Schneeberger reached out to the Sheriff’s Department to learn more about their needs.

One of the ideas presented was the need for a new K9 unit for the department. “It’s about preventing another drug addiction and possibly saving someone’s life,” said Schneeberger on why this issue was important to her. “This gift won’t solve the drug problem, but K9 Rita will assist the Sheriff’s Department in their enforcement efforts.”

K9 Rita is a three year old German Shepherd from Germany. She and Deputy Ryan Zide completed their 6 week Ohio Peace Officer Training certifications which included tracking, building and area searches, suspect apprehension, and narcotics detection. Rita not only holds the above certification through OPOTA, but nationally as well.

“Rita can detect drugs that are undetectable to the human nose,” said Deputy Zide. “This allows for greater detection of narcotics which in turn leads to more seizures, hopefully getting the drugs off the streets and significantly reducing the availability to first time drug users.”

IMG_0059.JPG

K9 Rita will enable the Sheriff’s Department to find, seize, and eliminate drugs that otherwise might go undetected in certain circumstances. “A K9’s sense of smell works much differently than a human’s,” said Deputy Zide. “When a pizza is baked, a human nose will smell the entire pizza. A K9 will instead smell every ingredient, separately. Applying this to vehicles or buildings, a human nose may smell the car as a whole where Rita will smell every item in the car and be able to distinguish narcotics from any masking odors.”

If the Sheriff’s Department can save at least one person from starting down the path of narcotics abuse, they know that K9 Rita will have greatly benefitted the community. However, the increased ability to locate drugs and seize drugs can go a long way in fighting and hopefully eliminating the drug problem in Washington County.

“By locating the drugs, the benefits are ten fold. For example, once once Rita Positively indicates there are narcotics (in a vehicle for example), we can now search that vehicle,” said Deputy Zide.

“When we recover the narcotics, we eliminate those from the stream of narcotics sales/use. But just as importantly, is the information we get from the seizure. Often times, we can obtain information from the suspect who possessed the narcotics such as his intent with the narcotics. This can lead to distribution areas or persons selling. Conversely, it can lead to information of who is bringing the narcotics into Washington County.”

For those interested in supporting K9 Rita and the Sheriff’s Department, donations can be made to the Washington County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Support Fund.

Marietta Community Foundation Awards More than $100,000 in Grants

The Marietta Community Foundation has awarded recipients of their second grant cycle this year. Grants were awarded to 15 applicants and totaled more than $100,000 from unrestricted and donor restricted funds, including three out of cycle requests.

Recipients include local charities, schools, community projects and a number of Marietta non-profits. Thanks to their generous donors, the Foundation continues to see steady growth.

“We were pleased to be able to offer three collaborative, out of cycle grants this fall, in addition to our second cycle grantees,” said Heather Allender, CEO. “Through these collaborations with regional foundations, local partners, and private donors, the Marietta Community Foundation was able to leverage donations to create an even larger impact for the community.”

Out of cycle grants included funding for an outdoor training facility for the Washington County Career Center, funding for the expansion of the Building Bridges to Careers’ Epicenter & Makerspace, and funding for one year of operational costs for the Washington County GoPacks program.

Additional Grantees Included:

  • Allohak Council, Boy Scouts of America
  • Marietta City Schools
  • Marietta Main Street
  • Marietta College
  • Gold Star Family’s Memorial Monument
  • O’Neill Senior Center, Inc.
  • Eve, Inc.
  • Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Ohio Valley
  • Civil War Roundtable of the Mid-Ohio Valley
  • River Cities Symphony Orchestra Inc.
  • Marietta High School Alumni & Friends Foundation

Proposals for the second round of the 2017 grant cycle closed on October 1st. Final approval was decided by the Foundation’s Allocations Committee last month.

The roof being constructed on a Habitat for Humanity House in Belpre, OH.

The roof being constructed on a Habitat for Humanity House in Belpre, OH.

Grant recipients often receive a combination of donor restricted funds, which come directly from active donors of funds the Foundation holds, and unrestricted funds. The Marietta Community Foundation shares all grant applications with active donors to maintain open communication and allow donors the chance to support the causes that inspire them.

“We appreciate the grant from MCF which will be used for a Habitat home to be built in the city of Belpre,” said Alvin Phillips, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Ohio Valley. “Our plans for 2018 include the construction of five Habitat for Humanity homes. Construction on a home in Vienna has started and plans are underway for a home on Greenhill Road outside Marietta. We are excited to engage even more volunteers as we continue to provide strength, stability and self-reliance though shelter.”

The next grant cycle will close on April 1st, 2018. Donations to assist in funding grant applications, or any other local need may be made to the Foundation by contacting Heather Allender, CEO at 740-373-3286 or heather@mcfohio.org.

The Foundation uses 100% of general donations for the grant cycle funding. This means any donations made now would immediately assist grant recipients for the first cycle in 2018.

The Marietta Community Foundation meets National Standards for operations, quality, donor service and accountability in the community foundation sector. Founded in 1974, the Marietta Community Foundation has grown over the years thanks to a number of generous gifts.

9 Tips for Year-End Giving

As the end of the year draws near, now is a great time for giving. When you make a donation to the Marietta Community Foundation, you aren’t just giving money—you are making a meaningful difference in your community. Here are nine ways to make the most of year-end giving!

1. Talk with your advisor
Before making a significant charitable gift, consult with your CPA, attorney or advisor to fully understand the impact on your taxes and estate.

2. Review your income
Take time to review and understand your tax liability for the year. Pay attention to unearned income and assets - were there significant changes? The answers may determine how much you want to give at the end of the year.

3. Explore employer gift matching programs
Talk with your employer to see if they offer a gift matching program that can increase the impact of your gift.

4. Give appreciated stock
If you would like to make a year-end charitable gift, consider giving appreciated stock. Selling stock will incur capital gains on the appreciation, but if you give stock as a charitable gift, you will receive a deduction for the current market value of the stock—just as you would with a cash gift. 

5. Give before December 31st
A gift by check is complete when mailed or postmarked to the charitable recipient, even if not cashed until the following year. Online gifts or gifts by credit card are considered complete when your credit card account is charged. Gifts of stock or real estate are more complex, you should not wait until late December to make these gifts as it may be too late to make the necessary arrangements.

6. Get to know your local nonprofits
While there are many worthy organizations and causes, only donations to qualified 501(c)3 organizations are tax-deductible. If you decide to give through the Marietta Community Foundation, we will document the status of all nonprofits prior to making a gift on your behalf and our team can help you identify organizations that are qualified to receive your gift. 

7. Do you have more than enough?
If you are receiving taxable income from retirement plan assets or life insurance policies, there are a number of tax-advantaged ways to make these assets work for you and the charitable organizations you support. For example, the Charitable IRA Rollover Act allows donors age 70 ½ or older to donate as much as $100,000 from their IRA without counting the distribution as income. 

8. Make a plan
The Marietta Community Foundation can assist you in creating a giving plan and help you think strategically about how and to whom you give. Our staff will help to ensure that your donations make the greatest impact on the causes you care about, while maximizing tax advantages. 

9. Let us work for you
Working with the Marietta Community Foundation gives you access to our staff's extensive knowledge of the local nonprofit community and the broad charitable needs of the Mid-Ohio Valley. We help you stay informed about the organizations you support and the effect your giving will have on the future of your community. 

Marietta Community Foundation Celebrates Annual Event With Inaugural Philanthropy Awards

The Marietta Community Foundation held its 3rd Annual Event on Tuesday, November 14th, hosting more than 150 guests at the Marietta Country Club. In celebration of National Community Foundation Week, the Foundation began a new tradition by recognizing and thanking local individuals and groups who have demonstrated excellence in philanthropy and grantmaking throughout the year.

Heather Allender, Marietta Community Foundation President and CEO, announced the recipients of three awards Tuesday evening: Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year (individual), Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year (business) and Innovation in Grantmaking.

The first recipient to be named 2017 Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year was Marilyn Schafer, whose generosity has made a tremendous difference to the Foundation’s goal of increasing unrestricted grant-making.

“Our unrestricted funds support our annual grant cycles,” said Allender. “Continued growth in unrestricted funding allows the Marietta Community Foundation to keep up with increasing, vital needs within the community.”

newsletter.jpg

Superior Toyota Hyundai was recognized for their philanthropic efforts as a business and their contributions to the Foundation, including their sponsorship of the Grant Your Grant Contest for local nonprofits. Tommy Hathaway and Bob Crock accepted the second award for 2017 Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year on behalf of Superior Toyota Hyundai and TR Hathaway, thanking the Foundation and its donors for their partnership.

The final award for the evening recognized the Innovation in Grantmaking of Mark Schwendeman, Chair of Shale Crescent USA. Shale Crescent USA, which is focused on highlighting the value and uniqueness of Marietta and the Mid-Ohio Valley, was established as an innovative way to stimulate the local economy.

“Shale Crescent USA has poured so much passion and energy into the revitalization of our area economy,” said Allender. “They have met with over 200 organizations, leaders, and prospective businesses, and have done so much more to bring manufacturers to the area and increase job development.”

All three award winners represent how far the Marietta Community Foundation has evolved since its inception four decades ago. Each of their contributions will have a lasting impact on the Foundation, and the community, for years to come.

 

Coming Full Circle

The Marietta Community Foundation welcomed a new companion group, The Women’s Giving Circle. Formed late in 2016, the group focuses on increasing awareness and providing needed support for local women and children.

Members have been hard at work establishing the infrastructure needed to help area non-profits. With the Foundation’s guidance, The Women’s Giving Circle has designated sub-committees to develop internal and external communication plans as well as marketing and promotional initiatives to spread the word to non-profits in need and recruit new members.

The group has also been working on the grant application process that will be used to award needed funds to non-profits within their initiative next year. Through membership fees collected annually, The Women’s Giving Circle hopes to have $11,000 to award through their first grant cycle next year.

 “Our donors come in many different forms – from those who are in a position to make generous monetary donations to those who devote hours and elbow grease and everyone in between,” said MCF President and CEO Heather Allender. “Companion groups like the Women’s Giving Circle offer the greatest chance to establish focused initiatives that receive the support needed to ensure success. We help these groups for as little or as long as needed before they become independent.”

As with other companion groups, the Marietta Community Foundation has worked closely with the Women’s Giving Circle while they establish their initial operations. Once ready, the Foundation will take a step back and allow the group to function independently while still benefitting from the Foundations services. The Foundation will continue to house their grant funds and provide invaluable connections to potential donors and worthy initiatives.

The Women’s Giving Circle will begin meeting monthly this September through May 2018 (excluding December) as they complete the necessary setup for their first major project. New members are always welcome to join the ranks of this exciting new initiative.

In the Eye of the Beholder

With summer in full swing, the Marietta Community Foundation is hard at work on a project to help enhance the beauty of our Downtown District. Once approved, the project would bring welcome updates to the Foundation’s building façade.

A similar initiative, supported by the Foundation and facilitated by Marietta Main Street, is the Build Up Marietta program which seeks to champion economic development through a revitalized downtown. The project benefits the community as a whole by providing business owners in the downtown, C4, district of Marietta with matching grant funds for façade improvements. Applications are accepted on a quarterly basis throughout the year for these mini grants with the goal that owners will eventually be able to make improvements on their own thanks to improved business.

Historical preservation and beautification of the Downtown District encourages residents to shop locally, attracts tourists, and helps attract and keep small local businesses that bring unique goods and services to the area. It also ensures the preservation of our town’s historic beginnings while encouraging a continued, successful future.

aaaaaaaaa.jpg

“The Build Up Marietta initiative received a tremendous amount of donor support,” said Heather Allender, President and CEO of the Marietta Community Foundation. “We received contributions from multiple donors, showing this is a program our citizens care about.”

The Foundation has helped facilitate a number of initiatives that have brought beauty to the community over the years. Marietta in Bloom is one such initiative. Partially funded through the Foundation’s first grant cycle this year, Marietta in Bloom improves and maintains area planters and eight community gardens, many of which surround the entrances of Marietta and help form good first impressions of the city.

Beautification helps instill pride in the community. Whether through historical preservation, greenery, or a simple coat of paint, a little bit goes a long way to improve quality of life.

“Though not part of Build Up Marietta, the Foundation is happy to play our part in the beautification of our downtown through improvements to our own building,” said Allender. “We take pride in our historic downtown location and truly believe these improvements will have a lasting, positive impact on our local economy.”

Beverly-Waterford Community Pool Receives Grant Funds for Restoration Project

Swimming in cool water during the summer has to be one of the most rewarding and best parts about summertime. If you don’t own your own pool, you’ve probably been to one of the local community pools. Luckily for you, the Village of Beverly was awarded a grant this past fall from the Marietta Community Foundation to revitalize the Beverly-Waterford Community Pool for the summer of 2017.

The Beverly-Waterford Community Pool’s original façade is being restored by reconfiguring the pool entrance and updating the bathroom facilities. This will allow the entrance of the pool to be more accessible and streamline the process of patrons entering the facility. The Beverly-Waterford Pool is excited to bring the building back in line with the original design.

By updating the entrance and bathrooms, this will allow increased safety and security for those trying to get cooled down from the summer sun. It also allows for better oversight of entry fees, making everyone’s time at the pool much more enjoyable.

With this grant, the Beverly-Waterford Community Pool has also purchased and installed a water chemistry controller. With this new controller, less chemicals will be added to the pool, making the pool safer for the environment and its patrons.

Beverly Pool.jpg

The Beverly-Waterford Community Pool will be opening in late May, and are excited to have the community enjoy their experience with the new and updated pool. Amista Lipot, an employee of the Village of Beverly, said that in 2016, “the Beverly-Waterford Community Pool saw a successful 50th year. We believe strongly that the pool is an ongoing public service project that requires public-private partnerships, community support, and some special attention.”

The funds that were given for these improvements were donated from the unrestricted funds of the Marietta Community Foundation. The Foundation looks forward to seeing the community support these upgrades by visiting the Beverly-Waterford Community Pool this summer.

Marietta Community Foundation Awards Funding to Establish Junior PioPitch at Marietta College

Did you have an entrepreneurial spirit when you were young? Students in the Marietta community definitely do, and were excited to display their skills. Middle school students who participate in the Ely Chapman Education Foundation After-School Program, as well as high school students enrolled in the Marietta High School Entrepreneurship class were competing at Marietta College for the first ever Junior PioPitch.

Through a partnership with Ely Chapman Education Foundation and Building Bridges to Careers, an entrepreneurship curriculum was developed. Marietta College already has a PioPitch program established for its students, who compete for a $10,000 prize for a start-up business, and are excited to expand to a younger generation.

Throughout the course, students had the opportunity to interact with potential customers, stakeholders, experts, and mentors to test the marketability of their solutions.

Through the entrepreneurship curriculum, middle and high school students have learned what it means to have an entrepreneurial heart, and a love for creation. Both of the developed programs were age-appropriate and were based on a nationally-recognized Ice House Entrepreneurship curriculum, which teaches students to troubleshoot.

Junior PioPitch (1).jpg

As a way to demonstrate all they have learned, each of the students will have the ability to pitch their entrepreneurial ideas to members of the campus and community. By taking this course, youth in Marietta were able to sharpen the next generation of citizens to the mindset and behavior of successful entrepreneurship.

“We piloted the junior PioPitch program because we wanted to inspire the high school and middle school students to think creativity. We wanted to motivate students to search for opportunities to fill a gap in the market, and then work on developing their ideas further,” comments Jacqueline Khorassani, Professor/Director of Entrepreneurship and Chair of the Business and Economics Department of Marietta College.

The Binkley Charitable Fund, as well as the unrestricted funds of the Marietta Community Foundation awarded the funding to help establish Junior PioPitch at Marietta College. The Foundation is pleased to know the youth in the community are excited in cultivating their entrepreneurship skills.

O'Neill Senior Center Receives Funding for Medication Assistance Program

The O’Neill Senior Center continues to ensure that their clients remain HIP: Healthy, Independent, and Productive. They were excited to discover that they were awarded a $5,000 grant through the Marietta Community Foundation to provide funding to develop a Medication Assistance Program, which strives to find indigent drug programs to help seniors afford medications and cover the costs of unexpected medical expenses.

Many seniors are in desperate need of immediate medication assistance due to unexpected health issues that result in expensive medications. Limited income also prevents many seniors from affording medication they need to maintain their health. All too often, when they cannot afford the medication they require, they simply go without.

Normally, seniors in need of financial assistance are enrolled in a patient assistance program, and it takes approximately 2-8 weeks for them to be accepted and receive their medication. Going that long without the medication they desperately need can prove fatal.

Thankfully, the O’Neill Senior Center received a grant through the Marietta Community Foundation to begin a Medication Assistance Program. O’Neill partnered with Kroger Pharmacy so that seniors can receive temporary medication during emergencies or financial hardships until they are officially enrolled in a patient assistance program in which they will receive medications regularly.

All clients enrolled in the Medication Assistance Program go through a vetting process by the O’Neill’s Social Service Coordinators, making sure that they are right for the program. Funds provided by the Foundation’s grant are used as a last resort for their clients.

Hillary Foster, an employee of the O’Neill Center, explained that “although this program has recently begun, however, the impact it has already had on seniors in our community is tremendous. We are so grateful for the support from the Marietta Community Foundation on this project.”

The Binkley Charitable Fund and the Bob and Marilyn Schafer Family Fund, as well as the Foundation’s unrestricted funds, provided the finances to allocate the grant to the O’Neill Senior Center. The Marietta Community Foundation is glad to see that seniors in the area are able to stay HIP through this program.

Giving Foster Children a Touch of Home

The Marietta Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is well underway with their very first project. The YAC first met in October 2016 and began working on identifying an area of need for their first philanthropic project. Over a dozen members from Washington County high schools, Marietta, Belpre, Warren and Fort Frye, worked together to establish their goal of helping area foster children with the transition to new homes.

Photo1.jpg

“They worked really hard to get the project together,” said Britani Merritt, Office Manager of the Foundation and Youth Council Advisor. “Their ability to identify these needs and establish a plan of action for the project was truly impressive.”

With the help of the Marietta Community Foundation, the YAC found invaluable partnerships that made their vision a reality. Council members worked on building a proposal to secure funding for the purchase of duffel bags, blankets, teddy bears, toothbrushes and other essentials through the non-profit organization Together We Rise. The bags themselves can be decorated for a personalized touch before being stuffed and delivered to incoming foster children by Washington County Children’s Services. The bags provide foster children with basic necessities they might be missing and give them something to call their own. Bags also include journals for each child with a letter from the YAC members. This personal touch lends words of encouragement to foster children during a very difficult time. It also allows members to connect with the foster children more directly by lending a message of hope.

When drafting the letters, members worked with Washington County Children’s Services to ensure that there were no issues with triggers as the children receiving the bags have faced a variety of challenging issues. Through this experience, YAC members gained a better understanding of the types of problems the recipients of their giving face. It also ensures their good intentions are not misplaced or diminished by a lack of perspective.

The YAC found funding for their project through partnering with the Washington County Foster Families Foundation. A newer fund at the Marietta Community Foundation, the Foster Families Foundation was established to assist families with funding for activities like school athletics and other basic needs for foster children.

The connections made by the YAC for this project have directly lead to a fast turnaround for their goal to provide all incoming foster children with a small slice of normalcy in an otherwise uncertain time. While the Foundation itself serves a wide variety of needs, groups like the YAC and funds like the Washington County Foster Families Foundation allow for targeted giving that addresses needs in a different, targeted way.

“The Marietta Community Foundation is so proud of all of our Youth Advisory Council members,” said Heather Allender, President and CEO. “We are so happy to have the opportunity to help them with this project and have a part in their journey as philanthropists.”

MCF Scholarship Recipient Update

"I received the Marie Adamson scholarship in 2015. I am now in my second year at UCLA as an aerospace engineer and I love it. There are endless opportunities for me here. I am on the board of the student branch of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and I am a member of the Rocket Project at UCLA. With these activities, I have been able to learn professional and hands on skills. Outside of the classroom I’m a member of the Club Water Ski and Wakeboard team and I get to travel all over the western region and compete against other schools. This summer I plan to intern with Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington D.C.

Although I love it here in Southern California, I would not be here without everyone in Marietta who helped me along the way. I would like to thank the Marietta Community Foundation for its generosity and contribution to enabling me to pursue my passions. The picture included is of me at the Rose Bowl before the UCLA v. Stanford game, go Bruins!"- Olivia Wesel

Philanthropy Without Boundaries

The Marietta Community Foundation (MCF) is excited to welcome two new initiatives, the Washington County Women’s Giving Circle and the Youth Advisory Council (YAC). These groups share similar interests but demonstrate different ways of giving and emphasize philanthropy without boundaries.

The Giving Circle is focused on increasing awareness of local needs facing women and children in our communities. Throughout the year members contribute minimum gifts which are pooled together to make a larger impact. Once endowed, their contributions will be awarded, through a competitive grants process, to area nonprofits in order to address issues faced by local women and children.

The MCF believes that philanthropy starts at any age and is not limited to a specific type of giving. It includes gifts of all kinds, such as time, action, money and goods, which comprise an interdependent circle of giving that surrounds a community and strengthens it through diversity of support.

The YAC is made up of high school students from Belpre, Warren, Fort Frye and Marietta High Schools. As the students do not have the ability to contribute monetarily, they work on creating unique events to raise funds for the causes they believe in. Britani Merritt, office manager of the Foundation, works with the youth group at their bi-monthly meetings to teach members about philanthropy and guide them on upcoming projects.

Though still in the early stages, the YAC is comprised of eager members who have already been extremely active. Currently underway, their first project is focused on assisting incoming foster children with the transition to their new foster families.

“We look forward to the positive impact both initiatives will have on our community over the next several years,” said Heather Allender, president and CEO of the Foundation. “Both groups have so much enthusiasm for their initiatives; it is encouraging to see such dedication from such diverse members.”

Edwin 'Jack' Haas Memorial Scholarship

Posted 2017-03-16 by MCF

"I grew up in Whipple Ohio on a 170 acre farm. I had plenty of space to ride my bike and four wheeler. There was a one acre pond stocked with fish and an enormous old White Pine tree to climb in our front yard. We raised about 10-15 head of cattle until I was around the age of 15. Of course that meant a few extra chores, on top of all the farm maintenance. I started feeding and watering as soon as I was old enough to move a bail of hay. That leads me to the next order of business that comes with cattle, THE HAY!!  We bailed and stored hay on our own property. This meant we always had to be available to help during hay season. I did learn to drive my dads truck and tractors at a very young age around our hay fields, whether I could see over the steering wheel or not! I am the youngest of three children so we all had our part on helping our parents.

I started helping my father off and on at his day job around the age of 13. My father, Bernie Thompson owned his own timber cutting business. He also worked at B.F. Goodrich/ R.J.F International from 4pm- midnight since before I was born. I learned to do every job to the best of my ability from my dad. He stressed the importance of my name being attached to anything I set my hands to. There were times when I had other employment and five years when my wife and I moved out of state. My heart was always on the bulldozer or log skidder there in the woods with my father though. Along with the equipment operation and use of chainsaws while cutting timber, some other skills I acquired through work were plumbing, residential and commercial irrigation, landscaping, hardscaping, gas and wood fireplace installation, tree trimming and removal. I found out that climbing all those trees as a child would help later on in life with my own tree trimming career. I have been, for the most part, self employed since 2009.

I was working full time with my dad after he took early pension from RJF International in 2014.  On September 12 2014, while I was on one of my own jobs, my father was killed cutting trees by himself. I had actually started attending another college for heating, ventilation and air conditioning at the same time. I found out that not all trade schools are the same. I spent more time on required classes unassociated to my main course of study, than I actually did HVAC. Realizing this, I decided to research The Washington County Career Center. I found that all the classes I would have to take were directly related to HVAC, not expensive mandatory classes that didn't aid in my career choice. I withdrew from that school and started attending classes at WCCC in September of 2015. I applied for this scholarship to help with tuition since my full time employment stopped when my father passed.

Being the recipient of the Edwin 'Jack' Haas Memorial Scholarship helped me to focus more on my studies by giving me financial support while being in school two full days out of my work week. I cant express my gratitude towards the Marietta Community Foundation for choosing me as the $1000 scholarship winner.

I am currently still self employed and have had a job in the HVAC industry for 6 months until recently being laid off. I will definitely pursue more education as the industry is always changing and updating its technologies. There is a very specific science behind the pressure/temperature relationship when it comes to the refrigerants used in the systems. The "how's and why's" of HVAC is what drew me into the field and I only want to know more now.

I would recommend The Career Center and its many different courses of study AND The Marietta Community Foundations' scholarship assistance program!!! It needs to be said that your organization was used in a blessing as an answer to prayers over my financial difficulties while putting myself through schooling. Marietta Community Foundation encourages me to want to do all I can for those who are struggling financially and are deserving of a helping hand."


Thank you with all my heart,

Phillip Thompson