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Washington County Community Foundation Formed

Residents of Washington County will benefit from the formation of a new community foundation. The Washington County Community Foundation will provide the area with important tools to build endowments, increase philanthropy, and provide ongoing support to essential area nonprofits, programs and events.

A community foundation is a permanent, steady, and secure source of grant making that addresses present and future community needs. The foundation is a vehicle for permanent charitable giving through current donations as well as bequests that will benefit the entire community. The Foundation will offer a variety of giving options for donors including advised funds, nonprofit organization endowments and scholarships. Rural communities, such as those in the Washington County Community Foundation service area, will be strengthened by their ability to preserve wealth and serve today’s citizens and future generations.

“The creation of the Washington County Community Foundation provides a tool for donors to enhance the quality of life in the Washington County area. The foundation has the flexibility to serve many purposes by providing qualified grants to local community interests and organizations,” said Randall Wyatt, Chairman of the Washington County Community Foundation. “We are excited about the foundation’s future possibilities. Its greatest attribute is that it will provide benefits forever.”

Community Foundations are the fastest growing form of philanthropy in the nation. The formation of the foundation has taken place over a period of more than two years. Local citizens researched the need and benefits of a foundation as well as options for establishing it.

The Washington County Community Foundation is an affiliate of the Greater Salina Community Foundation, which provides administrative support, accounting services, board development and consultation. The Greater Salina Community Foundation also has affiliate foundations in Russell County, Ellsworth County, Cloud County, Ellis County, Smith County, Republic County, the Smoky Valley School District and the Catholic Diocese of Salina. The Greater Salina Community Foundation is recognized by the Council on Foundations as having met rigorous national standards. As an affiliate, the Washington County Community Foundation can immediately offer the services of an established, larger, regional community foundation without the added expenses and administration of standing alone.

A local governing board made up of citizens from Washington County will be responsible for governance, community education and grant making decisions. Those serving on the Board of Directors include: Randall Wyatt, Steve Pierson, Larry Mueller, Jim Scheetz, Elizabeth Hiltgen, Janet Elliott, Lori Huber, A.J. Goeckel, Deb Kruse and Mary Tate.

“We are very happy to be working with this energetic local board to bring the benefits of a community foundation to the citizens in this area,” said Betsy Wearing, President & Executive Director of the Greater Salina Community Foundation. “The Washington County Foundation will provide philanthropic services here forever. It is a very exciting time for these communities.”

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