Live, work or go to school in Lexington? Join us March 15 for On the Table, a community-wide conversation held during small mealtime conversations to discuss not only what makes Lexington great, but what we can do to make it better.
The Community Foundation was established in 1967 by local philanthropists Irene and C.W. Sulier. Their goal was to create a permanent endowment to provide for diverse community needs over time and to encourage other like-minded philanthropists to join them. As the years went by, modest grants were awarded, but the board realized that the Community Foundation had the potential to do–and be–much more. We started looking at other models in other communities. A boost came in 1994 when the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation provided a challenge grant aimed at growing the capacity of the Community Foundation.
Further support from the Knight Foundation led to the establishment of Blue Grass Community Foundation’s focus on community leadership and engagement in 2007. Our efforts promote robust social engagement and provide leadership on capital and civic projects.
Today the Community Foundation has grown to over $93 million in assets and has awarded over $68.5 million in grants. We seek to enhance the quality of life in central and eastern Kentucky. Our Affiliate Foundations serve Clark, Harrison, Madison and Magoffin counties, as well as southeastern Kentucky. In addition, the Hudson-Ellis Board of Directors advises the Community Foundation on charitable grants in Boyle County.
We believe that the power and passion of individual philanthropy leads to a stronger, better community for us all.
The Community Foundation partners with the community to identify projects that will have lasting value and provides the leadership to accomplish them. Examples include
Blue Grass Community Foundation’s ultimate goal is to create a more engaged, vibrant community through philanthropy. To accomplish this, we work with donors, nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, other funders and community members. We channel resources, engage and educate donors, promote local nonprofits and provide leadership to make real, lasting change in all the communities we serve.
We connect donors to causes they are passionate about. We work to increase charitable giving and a more engaged community. In order to accomplish lasting, meaningful change, the Foundation is embarking on a capital campaign to raise an endowment of unrestricted funds to support community projects and issues, and to leverage additional funding for critical, high impact initiatives.
Strategies for accomplishing long-term goals include
Broad approaches include helping donors define their passions; forming alliances with other funders--both national and local; providing tools for easy, effective philanthropy; educating donors about the Endow Kentucky Tax Credit and other ways to maximize charitable deductions.
Activities that serve as important building blocks for future success include GoodGiving.net, an online, user-friendly search engine to highlight local nonprofits; the GoodGiving Challenge, to raise operating dollars and endowments for nonprofits serving local communities; reaching out and providing challenge grants to communities in Eastern Kentucky to help them establish local endowed community funds.
Each of these activities is designed to support particular, strategic objectives.
The Foundation’s internal assets include an experienced staff of eleven--three attorneys, two CPAs, and staff with long-term experience in grantmaking, nonprofit outreach, scholarships and social media--with a combined total of 60 years experience working for the Community Foundation. We also have an engaged, well-connected board of directors.
BGCF has been certified as following best practices as outlined by the Council on Foundation, philanthropy’s highest standard; and we have been certified by the Kentucky Revenue Department to receive contributions to endowments eligible for the Endow Kentucky tax credit.
External assets include partnerships with the Kresge Foundation; the Knight Foundation; the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky; Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government; LexArts; the Kentucky Nonprofit Network; the Gimble Foundation; numerous local community groups; and a wide range of local donors. We have established partnerships and working relationships with many central Kentucky community leaders and community leaders in other counties including Clark, Boyle, Franklin, Madison, Morgan, Magoffin, Rowan, Harrison and Woodford counties. We also work closely with the Kentucky Revenue Department on the Endow Kentucky Tax Credit initiative.
Future resources include an alliance with the James Graham Brown Foundation and Grantmakers of Kentucky to develop and utilize GoodGiving.net.
Indicators of progress include the total amount of endowments for the benefit of local Kentucky counties; number of Kentucky nonprofits with complete, up-to-date GoodGiving.net portraits; amount raised and number of donors giving during the GoodGiving Challenge for the benefit of regional nonprofits; number of business and media partners and the amount of their matching funds for nonprofits participating in the Challenge; and the amount of catalytic grantmaking opportunities we are able to fund.
Recent progress toward long-term goals include
Future goals include establishing Community Funds in other counties identified as underserved by the ARC.
Through establishing endowed Community Funds, the GoodGiving Challenge and GoodGiving.net, local donors are learning about—and giving to—nonprofits with the potential to make a difference in communities in the Bluegrass and beyond.
The Community Foundation provides services to the community, donors and nonprofits at a nominal cost. One obstacle—to avoid any appearance of competition for available funds with local nonprofits. Our goal is to increase the pool of available funds. In the case of GoodGiving.net and the Challenge, we take no profit at all, and in fact, provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in matching funds. Providing services to nonprofits as part of our mission.
We know that people and organizations have a desire to be charitable, but too often don’t know where to start. We have learned that giving grows when we provide information, tools, services and giving opportunities that are simple and effective. What does NOT work is complexity. Blue Grass Community Foundation is committed to continual improvement in producing data and feedback on a regular basis. Based on the last four years of success, we have continued to make our goals more ambitious.
Lisa Adkins is President and CEO of Blue Grass Community Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Adkins worked in the non-profit sector for 15 years in affiliation with the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. During that time she served as President and CEO of YouthFriends for 13 years. Previously, Adkins practiced law, working as an Assistant District Attorney focused on the prosecution of sex crimes and child abuse, as well as a corporate litigator. Lisa has served on the Board of Directors for numerous organizations with an emphasis on arts, education and health. Lisa was appointed by two Kansas’ Governors to serve on the Kansas Arts Commission and the Kansas and Missouri Culture District Commission, where she served as the first Chair. Lisa received the Regional Leadership Award from the Mid-America Regional Council and Civic Leadership Awards from the Junior League of Kansas City and the Native Sons & Daughters of Greater Kansas City. She was included in Ingram’s Magazine Forty Under Forty and the Kansas City Star’s Women to Watch.Lisa received her undergraduate degree, with Honors and Distinction, and her law degree, where she was named a Rice Scholar, from the University of Kansas.
Our role is to help givers of all kind find meaningful opportunities to use their passion for good. Funds are tailored to the specific goals of donors.
The Community Foundation has a wide array of services to help professional advisors better serve their clients. These include planned giving services, charitable gift annuities charitable remainder trusts, and charitable lead trusts. We can accept bequests, gifts of stock, complicated gifts such as real estate and other property, and IRA assets. In addition, we can minimize tax penalties by accepting end-of-year gifts which donors can recommend for charitable grants at their leisure. We also offer an online resource—the Planned Giving Design Center (www.pgdc.com), which provides the latest philanthropic news and up-to-date tools to aid professional advisors in their work on their clients’ behalf.
On March 15, Blue Grass Community Foundation is introducing On the Table to Lexington, a community-wide conversation to discuss not only what makes our city great, but what we can do to make it better.
On that day, volunteers throughout Lexington will host small groups of 8 to 12 individuals over a meal or coffee for informal conversation about the issues that impact our quality of life. In addition to generating new ideas and collaborations, results of On the Table conversations will help inform Imagine Lexington, the city's Comprehensive Plan, as well as the Community Foundation's future priorities and grantmaking focus as it celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017.
To find out how you can be a part of the conversation, go the bgcf.org/onthetable and sign up to be a host, guest, or ambassador. You may also contact Blue Grass Community Foundation at 859-225-3343 or email@example.com.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Copyright © 2014 Blue Grass Community Foundation
499 East High Street, Lexington, KY 40507