BLOOMINGTON - Even in a community as generous as Bloomington-Normal, worthy causes can fall through the cracks.
That's why the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation is creating a new fund, the Community Needs Fund, to aid not-for-profit organizations whose needs go unmet by other charitable organizations.
"The recipients might be a youth soccer team that wants to pay for shoes for kids who can't afford them, perhaps a musical group that needs to buy sheet music, or an elder services organization that faces an emergency," said Mike Stillwell, executive director of the foundation.
Stillwell said he believes now is the perfect time to announce the new fund because the Christmas season approaches.
"It's a time of year when people think about helping other people," Stillwell said.
The new fund, which will have an advisory board to evaluate grant requests, will be formally unveiled at the foundation's donor appreciation luncheon Thursday at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.
The luncheon will honor hundreds of donors to more than 70 funds under the foundation's care.
"Our goal (for the new fund) is to start making grants within two years," said Stillwell, adding, however, that money must be raised.
Part of the money raised will be set aside in an endowment.
"In keeping with the foundation's role as a community savings account, a portion of the Community Needs Fund donations will be set aside in an endowment to ensure needs are met in the future," said Darrell Hartweg, president of the board of directors of the foundation.
The Community Needs Fund isn't the only new fund being created by the foundation, which manages about $4.2 million in assets.
Another new fund, the New Initiatives Fund, will support fledgling charitable groups.
The foundation, which is 8 years old, serves McLean, DeWitt, Livingston and Logan counties as well as parts of adjacent counties.
How to Help
Send donations to Illinois Prairie Community Foundation, 210 ½ Broadway, P.O. Box 423, Normal, Il. 61761-0423 and in the memo section of the check list Community Needs Fund.