Peabody Community Foundation began in 2000, when Joan Berns donated a little more than $2,000 to the Peabody Endowment Fund — and now it’s worth more than $775,000.
From that donation, the PCF slowly grew to about $85,000 as groups and individuals made donations to several funds to support the endowment fund, scholarships, and local organizations.
“The Community Foundation is like Peabody’s retirement fund,” said president N. M. Patton. “If you build it a little at a time during your working years, there will be funds available to support you after you are no longer employed as long as you only draw from the earnings and not the principal.
“Peabody Community Foundation and its endowed accounts are able to pull money annually from their earnings,” he added. “The principal stays in place and begins earning again. Those earnings can be distributed at the end of the next year if the account managers wish to use it. The annual distribution can be counted on to provide support to a fund or group the same way a retirement fund distribution can support a retired individual.”
The Peabody Community Foundation is part of the larger Central Kansas Community Foundation. In June of 2009, the CKCF invited Peabody to take part in a “donation challenge.” The challenge was for Peabody to raise $60,000 by December 31, 2009, the Central Kansas Community Foundation would match at 50% or $30,000.
The Peabody group was able to raise $57,000 and the money was matched by CKCF with $28,500 for a total of $85,500.The foundation board was pleased to have made such a jump in its funds in so short a time.
In August of 2009, the Kansas Health Foundation asked foundations to apply for their six- year Grow II matching grant program. Peabody Community Foundation again applied for the chance to meet a donation challenge — this time for the chance to receive $180,000 in 50 percent matching money from Kansas Health Foundation to create two new funds for Peabody — the operating endowment to support fund management and expenses and the Health Foundation Fund to promote health objectives in the Peabody community.
The PCF was accepted to the Grow II grant program and was given six years to raise $360,000 to the Peabody Community endowment fund at 50 percent for the two new funds. Donations to other funds in the Peabody Community Foundation were matched at 25 percent. As of December 31, 2012 — three years into the six-year match program — Peabody met its goal and raised $490,500 thorough donations matched at 25 and 50 percent, including the promised $180,000.
The result is that Peabody Community Foundation increased the number of its individual funds to 18 and raised a grand total of $670,500 through a combination of donations and various matches from the Kansas Health Foundation and the Central Kansas Community Foundation.
What this means to the groups who count on the earnings and those applying for annual grants from our local foundation is that an increase of more than $33,500 each year will be available to be given back to the community due to the increase in endowment funds from the matching grants made available to the PCF. As the funds grow, the amount returned to the community is likely to grow.
“The total assets of the PCF as of April 1 are just over $775,000,” Patton said. “The growth from the funds will help support the Peabody community and its residents and organizations for some time to come. It is amazing to think this all started with a $2,000 donation 13 years ago.”
For more information, contact Patton at 983-2798 or any Peabody Community Foundation board member.