Dream big, start small.
Help the community with an acorn fund.
The resources of Bill Gates or Warren Buffet may not be there, but if there is a desire to help others, people can still make a big difference by starting with just a small contribution.
That is the philosophy behind the Wabash Valley Community Foundation's Acorn Fund, a new and affordable structured giving plan.
"The vast majority of the funds started in the Wabash Valley Community Foundation did not start as a full endowments through the single infusion of big money," Foundation Executive Director Beth Tevlin said. "Most of them started with small contributions and continued to grow.
"The important thing is that they were started. The Acorn Fund provides an opportunity for people who cannot donate a single large amount to build a charitable fund over a number of years."
An Acorn Fund may be started with a donation of only $100. The donor, whether it is an individual, a family, or a group, may name any charitable area or field of interest to be the beneficiary of the fund. After the initial $100 gift, the donor makes regular, tax-deductible contributions of at least $1,000 annually. These gifts may be of various amounts, but most total $1,000 for the year. The money donated grows through reinvestment of interest and dividends.
When the Acorn Fund reaches a total balance of $5,000, it starts giving back in the form of grants to that group, place or dream which motivated the original gift. The fund is then permanent and will grow.
"The Glenn High School Alumni Association is an example of a group that built an endowment through an Acorn Fund," Tevlin said. "They wanted to leave a memorial to the school and to the bond that it created among its students. They started small and gathered donations from alumni across the country. Now, the fund is benefiting students of Terre Haute North Vigo High School with an annual scholarship."