BLACF celebrates 25th anniversary, new hire for donor relations and communications
The community foundation was established in 1998 by John Sullivan, Rod Converse, Kevin Close and Bernie Roberts.
BRAINERD — The Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation is celebrating 25 years of serving the Brainerd lakes area.
The community foundation was established in 1998 by John Sullivan, Rod Converse, Kevin Close and Bernie Roberts. The Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation joined some of the founders, current and past board and staff members, community leaders and donors at a celebration event April 27 at Confidence Learning Center. The community foundation, along with fund holders, has given out over $8.5 million in funding to nonprofit charities through grants in the past 25 years in the Brainerd lakes area
At the celebration event Roberts explained how the foundation was started. The idea came from God to the founding group in one of their weekly bible study coffee meetings, Roberts said, as an easy way for individuals to support charities they care about. Roberts and Converse said they were thrilled they were able to help spark the charitable fire that has been burning and building for over two decades. They said this fire will continue to burn and grow and the potential impact in local communities is enormous.
Donor-advised funds have become the fastest growing charitable giving tool in the United States because it is one of the easiest and most tax advantageous ways to give to charity. When someone contributes cash or other assets to a donor-advised fund at a public charity like the Community Foundation, they may be able to take an immediate tax deduction. Funds may be invested for tax-free growth, and donors may make future grant funding recommendations to virtually any IRS-qualified charity.
The Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation administers the process with a one-to two-page fund agreement, depositing the initial gift and guiding donors to help make future gifts. The foundation handles all tax reporting, vetting of organizations to ensure all IRS requirements are met, allowing the donor to simply do the fun part in sharing where they would like their money to go.
“The Brainerd lakes area will see an even bigger impact in the coming years from funds held at the Foundation and noted legacy gifts that individuals have identified in their estate plans to support local charities,” said Terri Foster, Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation executive director, in a news release. “One of the best ways someone can ensure the vitality of the community and provide a hand-up to our neighbors in need is by starting a charitable fund or consider leaving a gift in their estate — even 5% could bring incredible change.”
Foster also noted how grateful she and the community are to the foresight the founders had in establishing this foundation to allow for such impact.
“It truly is such an asset and a blessing to have such a giving community and the ability to meet the needs in the Brainerd lakes area now and into the future as those needs may change,” Foster said.
Rollins joins Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation
The Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation, in partnership with CommunityGiving, also recently announced Kim Rollins joined the foundation, filling the vacancy of the donor relations and communications position after Foster accepted the role of executive director in January. Rollins will work closely with donors and fund holders and coordinate marketing and events.
“I am excited to jump back into the nonprofit sector to help the Foundation grow in partnership with the staff and Board,” Rollins said in a news release. “Through charitable giving, we’re dedicated to providing concierge level service to our donors, nonprofits, and the community to make the Lakes Area even better, now and into the future.”