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United Way, Community Foundation Joining Forces

October 14, 2012
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - To enhance the benefit of its endowment fund, the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley has partnered with the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley.

Nationwide, nonprofit organizations must raise funds to carry out their missions. A way to provide long-term budget stability is through establishing a permanent fund - an endowment. The endowment's investment earnings can support daily operations or special program efforts. Through this endowment fund with the CFOV, the United Way staff knows the annual income will allow them to spend more time doing the good work of the organization and less time raising operating funds.

An endowment is like a mutual fund for an organization. It allows the organization to invest money for the future and sometimes only spend the interest earned on the fund so its principal stays intact.

The United Way's endowment fund at the CFOV covers a larger percentage of the organization's operating costs. The goal of the United Way, however, is to have an endowment large enough to cover annual operating costs so that all funds raised through the annual campaign can go out to the United Way agencies.

"We are very proud that we have been able to keep our administrative costs to approximately 15 percent," said George Smoulder, executive director of the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley. "A gift to our endowment fund at the Community Foundation will enable us to respond to the needs of many women, men, and children who live in our area for many years to come."

Anyone may give to the United Way's endowment fund with the Community Foundation now or through an estate plan for future support. They know that their legacy will be a permanent one because the endowment fund is permanent.

The CFOV works with several nonprofit organizations on their endowments as well. Several United Way agencies have their endowments with the CFOV including Wheeling Health Right, the YMCA, and Russell Nesbitt Services.

"We hope to be able to work with more agencies to help build their endowments and create sustainability for them," said Susie Nelson, executive director of the Community Foundation. "Strong endowments allow these organizations to focus more on services than fundraising."

A strong endowment helps to ensure long-term viability of an organization, diversifies their revenue sources, increases financial stability, and provides a steady income to offset operations.

If you are interested in supporting endowment funds of the United Way or other agencies with cash or gifts of stock, please contact the Community Foundation or the United Way. You may also work with your professional advisor to give through your will or other estate plan support.

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