How Community Foundations Can Spur Community Development Through Opportunity Zones

The federal Opportunity Zone tax incentive program is designed to spur economic development and job creation in underserved communities across the United States by providing significant tax benefits to investors.

A new white paper by the Community Foundation Public Awareness Initiative explores the vital role community foundations can play in leveraging opportunity zones as a tool in their communities.

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Peter Panepento
A Decade-Long Journey to Transform Rural Libraries in Georgia

When Steve Kendall was growing up, the highlight of his week was the family trip to the local library. At an early age, his parents taught him that knowledge was power, easily found in the pages of books. He and his wife, Laraine, attribute much of their success to their lifelong love of reading.

Intrigued by research showing better outcomes for children who were able to read on grade level by third grade, they wondered what rural libraries could accomplish if they were empowered with focused funding to get children excited about reading.

That shared love of reading led the Kendalls to start the Georgia Rural Library Initiative (GRLI), a decade-long series of investments in rural county libraries in partnership with the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.

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Wisconsin Foundation Inherits a Cheese Factory, Creates a Legacy

Marilynn Taylor of New London, Wis., was president of Wohlt Creamery LLC, a manufacturer of processed cheeses and one of the city’s 10 largest employers.

She died Feb. 25, 2017, at age 71, leaving her entire business, including the building, equipment, 60 employees and a lot of cheese, in the care of her estate representative and the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. 

The Community Foundation found a buyer for the business, and kept all workers employed — ensuring that it remained a stable employer.

What’s more, the sale of the cheese processing business and manufacturing facility will net the Community Foundation about $5.8 million. In addition, the foundation received additional assets from Taylor totaling about $2.5 million.

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Foundation Awards $750,000 to Help Those Affected by Hurricane Florence

Foundation for the Carolinas has distributed its first round of grants to help those affected by Hurricane Florence.

It joins community foundations in several other regions of the country that have set up and administered funds to support those who have been affected by hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, mass shootings, and wildfires this year.

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A New York Community Foundation Focuses on Ending Childhood Lead Poisoning

The Central New York Community Foundation is investing $2 million to help address a significant problem in its community — the prevalence of lead paint in homes in Syracuse.

More than 11 percent of Syracuse children tested in 2017 were shown to have elevated blood lead levels — an alarming figure that impacts not only their health, but also their ability to learn and develop.

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Peter Panepento
By Investing in Capacity, a Texas Foundation Helps Nonprofits Succeed

Nonprofits need more than money to be successful. They also need knowledge and support.

That’s why many community foundations actively invest in programs that help nonprofits build their capacity. Rather than simply writing grants to support individual programs, these foundations instead actively work to help nonprofits become more self sufficient and productive.

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