February is for the Future

Leaving a legacy is simple; the results are remarkable.

The Charlevoix County Community Foundation was founded on the principles of making a difference close to home and the power of endowment. Early supporters knew that a community foundation presented an opportunity to give back locally in a way that would last forever. They were right. For 30 years, endowed funds managed by the Community Foundation have grown while generating ever-increasing contributions to causes and organizations in and around Charlevoix County. The tagline says it all: For Good. For Ever.

While the Community Foundation accepts over 1,000 contributions each year, friends and neighbors can also make a difference without impacting their current finances. More than 80 individuals and couples have worked with their professional advisors and the Community Foundation to create a plan for a future gift.  Each plan is as unique as the donors themselves.

When Babs Young retired, she and her partner, Betty Jo, moved full-time to the Torch Lake area and Babs became engaged with Jordan River Arts Council (JRAC) in East Jordan. She also lent her skills and energy to Art Rapids, a newer organization based in Elk Rapids that created the “Walk of Art,” a hike that features over 30 sculptures. “Of course art is important to me,” says Babs, “but more than that, it’s that art encourages connection between people. I hope this gift will do that someday.” Babs' estate gift will support the Community Endowment and the arts community she has nurtured with her time. 

Henry Hill was a champion of organizations that provide for people on Beaver Island, including the Beaver Island Rural Health Center and the Beaver Island Historical Society. With his estate gift, Henry continued to support those organizations through the Community Foundation after he died. As a Legacy Society member, Henry Hill will be remembered on Beaver Island and beyond.

Ethel Coeling said "There are so many local programs worthy of support, and the Community Foundation offers so many options." When she passed away in 2003, her estate established funds to support the environment, Charlevoix Library, Ellsworth Schools, and the Charlevoix Area Community Pool.

A future gift of $25,000 will grow and grant as directed by the donor, making a difference for generations to come. Endowment is a marathon and not a sprint: the start will be slow, but over time, the results will be remarkable. For example, after 50 years, the initial $25,000 gift will have grown to nearly $100,000 even with grants from the fund totaling $70,000. That’s what we call the power of endowment.

Community Foundation staff is available to learn about the impact you hope to make and to suggest ways to give now – or in the future – to make a difference close to home.  To learn more about how you can leave a legacy, check out the Legacy Guide or call 231-536-2440 to request a printed copy. To explore existing funds, click here