The Community Foundation of Otsego County is pleased to announce our Founders Campaign has surpassed our goal of raising $2,000,000 to fund our new philanthropic community organization. We extend our thanks to campaign donors and to the entire community for its support and encouragement.
For those of you who would still like to join us, the Founders Campaign is open until the end of 2021 and we welcome additional donations. The larger our treasury, the more good we can accomplish.
The details –
In 2020, we started the Foundation with a COVID Relief and Recovery Fund. Over 250 donors contributed $220,000 which we distributed to 27 nonprofits working hard on food insecurity, substandard housing, transportation, health issues, small business support, and a host of other needs made more pressing by the pandemic.
Building on the outpouring of community support, we embarked on a campaign to raise the seed capital needed to continue the work we began with COVID Relief. We estimated that an asset base of $2 million would allow us to operate for five years, which would allow enough time to become self-sustaining.
Again, the community has generously responded. More than 150 donors have made cash gifts and pledges for as many as five years. The amount raised is sufficient for our basic plan which includes awarding another $200,000 in grants during 2021. But if we had more we could do more. So those of you who have been wanting to join us please go to our website and use your credit card, make a pledge, or send a check.
What have we done to earn your support? In addition to the COVID Relief Fund, we are in the middle of reviewing applications for a second round of awards. To date, we have approved six awards and they address after-school childcare, the performing arts, food deserts and beginner farmer training, transportation to medical services, encouraging the creation of a film industry, and access to remote records to provide improved in-home medical services. Those needs were identified in a community-wide survey which was instrumental in directing our attention. We encourage nonprofits with a program that needs funding to see our website at CFOtsego.org and learn how to apply for an award. We are open to all requests.
What does the future hold?
With a solid start, we will continue issuing awards. We will offer a full slate of philanthropic strategies so donors can enhance the effectiveness of their charitable giving. And we will continue to reach out to the entire community to help identify needs. Our name says it all – we are the community’s foundation.
We thank each and every one of you for your support. We thank those who have already become Founders, and we look forward to adding other Founders during the remainder of the year. We believe that together we can create a better quality of life for all Otsego County residents.
(This guest column by CFOC Board President Harry Levine ran in The Daily Star on September 18.)