First, our Foundation gives people a place to go with donations to build an endowment for the Three Lakes community, or to support a specific project fund. The Three Lakes Community Foundation can help to provide impact enhancements beyond what the Town or County governments can handle. It provides an avenue for major gifts, such as those created in estate planning or memorials…think legacy gifts.

Those of us who have an attachment to Three Lakes will want to consider how we can help to carry on the spirit, the joys, and the “specialness” of the community. Of course we will want to be assured that there is an independent Board committed to doing things both right and well. By its very nature, a community foundation is fiduciary, custodial, forward thinking, and lasting. A community foundation can make decisions which adapt to the changing circumstances and needs over time, an aspect which we would want. Second, we know that cities, villages and towns which have created community foundations are seen as more interesting or more progressive because of what their foundations have provided over time. They make a difference, with one generation “setting the table” for the next.

All. Everyone! This is a unifying initiative in the community. UNIFYING is one of our four core values. We look for all Three Lakes stakeholders to embrace this initiative with support and ideas.

After all, it is a fairer view of the unique reality of Three Lakes to consider a total population measurement of our demographics. For example, during the summer months our “population” swells to 12,000 to 15,000. Even in the winter months, while “residency” remains at about 3,000, the “population” number is higher. It is our total population which uses Three Lakes. It is our total population of stakeholders which gains its experiences here. It is us. We!

A permanent asset of an organization that is invested to earn income. Money for the endowment can come from individuals, businesses, Govt. Agencies, foundations and other non-profit organizations. Like a retirement fund, the concept behind investing and managing an endowment is similar. The creation of an endowment is to leave a legacy, perpetuity. The interest is the only usable portion of this fund.

The nice thing about how we are set up is that you have choices. You can put your donation into the Current Fund, the Endowment Fund, or split your donation.

THE CURRENT FUND is a working fund. All grants will be made from the Current Fund. It is also used for expenses related to research, communications and professional services.

Unless a donation is specified for the Endowment Fund, your donation will go to the Current Fund. The Board has the authority to transfer money from the Current Fund to the Endowment Fund; however that will be unlikely until the Current Fund would become very large.

THE ENDOWMENT FUND is a support fund, established for long term support. Donations to the Endowment Fund remain in perpetuity. Up to 5% of the Endowment fund balance may be transferred annually to the Current Fund. This is done by a vote of the Board. The 5% limit is determined by IRS rule, and it is related to a presumption that the investment rate of return over time will average 5%. Therefore, as donations build up in the Endowment Fund over time, the more money becomes available when the 5% is applied to it. For example, $10 Million in the Endowment fund would provide for a $500,000 transfer to the Current Fund every year.

Cities and smaller communities that started volunteer community foundations years ago are now reaping the rewards. Three Lakes may be late to the party, however we now have a start, and we certainly have a great potential.

FOR VERY LARGE DONATIONS, the donor may want to consult with the Board Chair first about what would best meet your objectives.

All officers and directors are in voluntary service. They do not receive stipends, lodging, meals, mileage…nothing. Each director considers their volunteer service an honor.

The Foundation is in a position to establish Project Funds, or dedicated accounts. When a project would be completed, the project fund would be closed. Project Funds need to meet criteria, and must be approved by the board.

If money is available, criteria are met, and IRS rules are met, it is possible that the Foundation could support a Project Fund directly. Click Here to go to Granting to get a better idea of how the Board would make a decision.