January 9, 2016 – This article is a continuation of our series on Tucker Community Foundation (TCF) endowments and the impact they are having throughout the region. The focus this week is on animal welfare, economic development, and area funds.
Currently, the Mountaineer Humane Society Fund is the only fund managed by TCF that addresses animal welfare. The agency endowed fund was established in 2009 to provide perpetual funding for the Mountaineer Humane Society, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization located in Tucker County and based out of Davis. All distributions support the mission of the organization which is to “promote the adoption and responsible guardianship of homeless, neglected, abused and abandoned domestic animals; prevent pet overpopulation by sponsoring spay/neuter programs; and promote humane treatment of animals and prevent cruelty to animals by providing shelter, health care, and community education services”. The Mountaineer Humane Society Fund was established with funds donated by board members, Run For It proceeds, and donations from the general public. The organization serves all of Tucker County.
Two economic development funds are benefitting Tucker and Preston County by supporting activities related to job creation, job retention and general improvements to the business climate of the area.
The Tucker County Economic & Community Development (TED) Fund was established as a challenge match fund by Tucker Community Foundation in 2014 to support the charitable economic development of Tucker County.
A committee consisting of seven members to include, but not limited to, a member-at-large and one representative from the TCF Development Committee, TCF Grants Committee, TCF Executive Committee, Tucker County Planning Commission, Development Authority and County Commission will make recommendations on grant awards from the fund. Initial donations were matched by Tucker Community Foundation $1 for $1 up to $5,000. Donations from Q & A Associates (Matt & Angie Shockley), EL Robinson Engineering, Govcon Accountants, and a community of generous donors met the initial challenge and continue to build the fund.
Grants from the fund may be used for community development activities (such as real estate acquisition, relocation, demolition, rehabilitation of housing and commercial buildings), construction of public facilities and improvements (such as water, sewer, and other utilities, street paving, and sidewalks), construction and maintenance of community centers, and the conversion of school buildings, public services, and economic development and job creation/retention activities. TED funds can also be used for preservation and restoration of historic properties in underserved neighborhoods.
The Terra Alta Economic Development Association Fund was created by the disbanded Terra Alta Economic Development Corporation (TA EDC) in August of 2011 for the purpose of the charitable economic development of the Terra Alta area in Preston County. In addition to providing additional resources for the community, the fund provides an opportunity for donors to add additional support.
In 2011, the TCF Board of Directors issued a challenge to match every donation $1 for $1 up to $5,000 to establish an endowed, unrestricted, area fund benefiting the citizens and communities of Preston County. The Preston Community Fund was endowed by the close of 2013 and now provides unrestricted grant and scholarship awards to benefit students and charities of Preston County. The first grant from the Preston Community Fund was awarded in 2015 based on the recommendation of an advisory committee whose members are Preston County residents and donors to the fund.
A Transfer of Wealth report was recently issued by Philanthropy West Virginia, the state membership organization for private, corporate, and community foundations. Tucker County was one of the 33 West Virginia counties studied.
Transfer of wealth is an estimate of the household estate wealth transferred from the current generation to the next. Researchers at Boston College conservatively estimated a $41 trillion transfer of wealth (TOW) in America from 2000 to 2050. The estimation of TOW is considered a possible future scenario for communities to consider; it is not a prediction or an absolute number about the future.
The Philanthropy West Virginia TOW study reported the net worth of Tucker County in 2010 at $560 million; or approximately $183,600 per household. Based on those figures, the 10 year transfer of wealth potential for Tucker County is $200 million, or $65,500 per household. If every household’s estate dedicated 5% to creating an endowment, it could result in $10 million in endowed funds that could generate over $500,000 for grants to support community improvement, infrastructure, scholarships and any number of charitable causes.
For more information how to endow a fund, contact the Foundation Development Office at 259-5008. Visit www.tuckerfoundation.net for more information about Tucker Community Foundation.