My turn

Foundation can turn $25K into $50K for Lake County nonprofits

2013-12-13T00:00:00Z Foundation can turn $25K into $50K for Lake County nonprofitsBy Dave Ryan Times Columnist nwitimes.com
December 13, 2013 12:00 am  • 

We have wonderful news for Lake County’s not-for-profit organizations. The Legacy Foundation, our county’s leading philanthropic organization, in collaboration with the Knight Foundation, has a deal that you will not want to miss.

Through Dec. 31, any donation to the nearly 200 eligible funds held at the Legacy Foundation will be matched by the Knight Foundation up to $25,000. Your donation, regardless of size, will enable local qualified charitable organizations to realize up to $50,000 in funding during this holiday season.

Representing nearly $50 million dollars in assets, the Legacy Foundation has been in existence since 1992, and during that time the grants committee has awarded nearly $30,000,000 dollars in grants and scholarships to worthy recipients in Northwest Indiana.

Education is a key focus of the Legacy Foundation as evidenced by the number of scholarships awarded each year. The foundation recognizes that without at least a high school diploma and good basic skills, the prospect of earning a living wage and supporting a family are greatly diminished. Additionally, as literacy and lifelong learning skills are strengthened, the results are a more stable and healthy community.

Growing the Legacy Foundation to almost $50 million in assets in 20 years is an outstanding accomplishment, and takes a serious commitment on the part of the foundation’s staff, Board of Directors, and the hundreds of not-for-profits that have established donor funds with Legacy.

Additionally, with the foundation’s mission to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Lake County now and for generations to come, it is incumbent upon all of us to become “players” in philanthropy. You might say "I don’t have any extra money to establish a donor fund at Legacy," but you can certainly volunteer a few hours at a local not-for-profit agency to assist them in their goals.

Meals on Wheels, for instance, requires hundreds of volunteers weekly as they provide not only meals to those in need, but also that important social interaction each and every time they make a house call.

Get involved! An informed citizenry, through civic engagement, leads to stronger leadership skills, with a broadened understanding of issues in Lake County.

How do I get involved this holiday season? Simply visit www.legacyfdn.org and start giving to your favorite Lake County charitable agency. You will be glad you did!

Dave Ryan is the executive director of the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. The opinions expressed are his own. He can be reached at dryan@lakeshorechamber.com or (219) 931-1000.

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