Posts Tagged ‘Clarion County’

The best news since moveable type has come to the Knox Public Library.  With cuts in state aid a yearly event, there is not a public library in Clarion County that is not starved for good news.  This is better news than all delinquent borrowers returning their overdue books and paying their full fines.

An anonymous donor has through the services of Clarion University Foundation given $120,000 to the library to help them relocate to their own building.  The library board in response, negotiated with the Clarion Forest VNA and have an agreement to purchase the current office building of the Clarion Forest VNA for $65,000.

Clarion Forest VNA will move to be close to the Clarion Hospital in Monroe Township.  The Knox Public Library will move down Main Street to their first stand alone building.

This is a wonderful move for the library, but for it to succeed and also expand services, the Knox community has to step forward in mass and give as they have never given before.  The building needs upgrades, and as everyone knows, owning your own home does not come cheap.  There are new yearly expenses.  There are emergencies.  There are costs to looking loved and well cared for.

You have hopefully already responded to the library’s yearly letter asking for support.  Expect more appeals for support.  Please don’t think of them as a burden because they are first and foremost an opportunity to build your community.

If you decide you would like to make a bequest in your will to create an endowed fund for the Knox Public Library, then the Clarion County Community Foundation are the people for you to talk to.  We are a Commonwealth chartered nonprofit authorized to serve as trustee for community endowments.  We protect and grow those endowments in perpetuity.

When a fund contract is signed by CCCF and you, your family, or your executor, you know with certainty your wishes will be followed as to purpose and administration of your endowment.

You may contact the CCCF President Dr. Jerry Belloit, home (814) 227-2673, or cell (814) 221-5537; or our Interim Executive Director Dr. Bill Kaufman, home (814) 226-8216, CELL (814) 229-8622; or call me at (814) 797-2233.  Charles Marlin

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The Board of Trustees of the Bridge Builders Community Foundations announces steps to transition the organization from the leadership of Mr. Stephen Kosak, after 21 years as Executive Director, to new leadership.

The Board has assigned Mr. Kosak a new title as Senior Executive Director effective when his employment with PNC Bank, National Association begins on January 1, 2011.  As Senior Executive Director he will advise, review, and consult with the Bridge Builders staff, Trustees, and affiliate Boards, serve Ex-Officio on the Bridge Builders Board of Trustees, and represent the community foundations at functions when appropriate.

Beginning January 1, 2011, Dr. Bill Kaufman of Clarion will serve as Interim Executive Director.  He has been given an ambitious set of instructions by the Bridge Builders Trustees.  Additionally he will manage the administrative offices at 213 Seneca Street, Oil City, meet with donors, volunteers, and nonprofit organizations seeking grants from one of the three affiliate community foundations.  All the services the foundations are known for will continue during this transition.

The specific challenges given to Dr. Kaufman are to evaluate all operations, budget, and staffing to create efficiencies, expand services, and economize; create goodwill in our service area; organize Penn Jefferson Community Foundation as an affiliate to serve Jefferson County; make recommendations for future operations, budget, and staffing; and finally to assist the Trustees in the employment of a new Executive Director.

After 37 years in education, Dr. Kaufman retired in July 2009 from his position of Executive Director of the Riverview Intermediate Unit 6.  Before his tenure at Riverview, Dr. Kaufman served 12 years as the Superintendent of the Clarion Area School District.  Prior to this, he was employed by the Oil City Area School District where he worked in several capacities ranging from math teacher and coach to assistant superintendent.  Dr. Kaufman received a BS in mathematics from Juniata College, a master’s degree from Westminster College, and a doctorate in education from Penn State.

Mrs. Lynn McCaslin of Tionesta, Trustee President, says, “the mission of Bridge Builders Community Foundations and the affiliates Clarion County Community Foundation, Forest County Community Foundation, and Venango Area Community Foundation is the same as under Mr. Kosak.  We are a nonprofit trustee for charitable endowment funds, administered by independent, local affiliate Boards and the final Board of Trustees.”

Mrs. McCaslin continues, “we emphasize local control, low administrative fees, and direct participation by donors, volunteers, and nonprofit organizations.  Our funds include scholarships, school funds, unrestricted funds, funds serving a specific nonprofit, cemetery funds, community funds, and field-of-interest funds.  Our breadth and commitment are unique.”

The phone number for the administrative offices in Oil City will remain (814) 677-8687 at 213 Seneca Street.  In Clarion County the mailing address is Clarion County Community Foundation, Suite A, 21 N 6th Avenue, Clarion PA 16214.  The Clarion County President is Dr. Jerry Belloit of Clarion, and Vice-President is Mr. Barry McCauliff of Shippenville.  The Forest County President is Mr. Jim Parrett of Marienville, and Vice-President is Mrs. Josie Habjanetz of Tionesta.  The Venango Area President is Mr. Joseph Keebler of Franklin, and the Vice-President is Mr. Ed Bergin of Franklin.

Pictured from left to right are Dr. Kaufman, Mrs. McCaslin, and Mr. Kosak.  Press Release

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Turning words into a banner is not easy, but we are proof it can be done when inspired.  The following goals for Clarion County Community Foundation are not official.  They are what come to me as I work for the foundation.

To popularize the creation of endowed funds in Clarion County.

To become the major trust for scholarships throughout all the school districts in the county.

To stimulate field-of-interest endowed funds for school districts and communities.

To encourage all nonprofits in the county to create endowed funds supported by legacy gifts.

To build a large unrestricted grants fund for current programs, emerging needs, and emergencies.

To build an operating support fund so that foundation staff can be located in the county.

To raise  the professional standard for staff by requiring a master’s degree in philanthropic studies, nonprofit management, fund raising, or finance.

To create a youth philanthropic program in every school district.

It was on September 13, 1814, that the Star Spangled Banner first flew over Fort McHenry under attack by the bloody British.  It was 1,260 square feet of honor, pride, and defiance.  You know the rest of the story.

We love our flag and are proud of what it can stand for.  We are sometimes divided by differences over her history, but we are always united in our love for the flag.  Charles Marlin

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When donors create an endowed fund with Clarion County Community Foundation their hope is to be of service in the future, the long future of 100 years, 150 years, and perhaps longer.  It may happen that the future is radically different than the donor envisions.  For two different fund situations it is prudent to include a sunset provision in the fund contract.

The endowed restricted fund names a specific nonprofit to benefit from the fund.  Examples of this type of fund are those set up to provide income to a local church, a local health clinic, a shelter for battered families, a local chapter of the Red Cross, or a local veterans organization.

If a donor researches local directories of 100 years ago, or even 150 years ago as we descended into the Civil War, the listing of local organizations active in charitable work is very different from a listing of today’s nonprofits.  The donor must consider what is to be done with the endowed restricted fund when it can no longer function because the designated nonprofit is gone.

The sunset provision to be completed is this: If my designated nonprofit or its successor ceases to exist or reside in Clarion County the fund shall become . . . .  You may choose to complete the sentence with “an unrestricted grants fund.”  This means the fund is available to fill whatever need the community foundation trustees think is worthy.

Another option is to complete the sunset provision by naming a broadly stated field-of-interest the donor believes will always remain an important charitable cause.  This broadly stated purpose could be conservation, family health, legal aid for the poor, public recreation, or historic preservation. 

The other situation for which a sunset provision is useful is a fund that donors expect to grow by future personal contributions and fund raising activities.  If the future growth is weak or fails to continue as anticipated, the fund may suffer from being too small to earn income for meaningful grants.

The organizers of the fund may decide to set a minimum level of grant activity for their fund.  The sunset provision may state: If the fund is unable to award a grant of $200 or more every biennial for six consecutive years, the fund shall become . . . .  The organizers have the option of completing the sunset provision in accord with what appeals to them.

No one can know if or when a sunset provision may be invoked.  If a decision is to be made, the original donors have an opportunity to make that decision rather than latter-day trustees.  In creating an endowed fund it is best to think long.  Charles Marlin

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 Mr ? Man


# 12  What is the administrative fee charged for a community foundation endowed scholarship fund?

Mr?Man likes the specificity of your question.  There are two ways a donor may help students, one is through scholarship grants awarded annually, and another is through an endowed restricted fund naming the school as grantee

The fees explained by Mr?Man are set by Clarion County Community Foundation and are consistent for all the affiliates of Bridge Builders Community Foundations.  Other community foundations’ fees will differ slightly.

The traditional scholarship fund names one or two or all county schools as eligible for scholarships for graduating seniors.  Students apply for the scholarships through their guidance councilor, the community foundation verifies each application as complete and qualifying.  Various previously established scholarship committees meet and select students to recommend for the scholarships.  The community foundation then administers the grants through the college or university the student attends.

There is a great deal of paper work and tracking involved so the administrative fee is our highest at 1.5% annually or 0.125% of the monthly asset value of the fund.

Another approach is to create an endowed restricted fund that names a specific school district as grantee.  A fund committee previously established in the fund contract then determines how the annual grant will be spent.  The committee may select specific activities, sports, programs, or resources, or even decide to award scholarships.  The administrative fee for this new approach to school support is covered in question #14.

# 13  What is the administrative fee charged for a community foundation endowed donor advised fund?

Annually the donor or donor family recommends to the community foundation what they would like to support with a grant from their fund.  Whether it is one or several nonprofits, the foundation verifies they qualify as a charity, then follows through on the choices made.

Because this kind of fund involves continued contact with the donor and verification of the nonprofits, it is charged 0.75% annually or 0.0625% of the monthly asset value of the fund.

The donor advised fund is popular with those who like to shop around for new charitable interests.  The donor family will often involve two or three generations with plans to continue the work beyond the current generations.

# 14  What is the administrative fee charged for a community foundation endowed restricted fund?

The restricted aspect of this fund means the donor has named one or more established nonprofits to annually receive a grant from the fund.  The nonprofit may be the county chapter of a national charity or a local nonprofit that operates on its own.

It could be your local church, a locally chartered social service such as a soup kitchen, or the county chapter of the Federally chartered Red Cross.  And as I explained in # 12, it could be your local school district.

The administrative fee is 0.7% annually or 0.0583% of the monthly asset value of the fund.  This is a much easier type of fund to administer so the fee is less than the previously mentioned types of funds.

# 15  What is the administrative fee charged for a community foundation endowed unrestricted fund?

Whether the unrestricted fund you create is a component of a larger unrestricted fund or stands separate as a memorial unrestricted fund, the administrative fee is the lowest at 0.5% annually or 0.0417% of the monthly asset value of the fund.

This type of fund is the crown jewel of all community foundations because it allows the foundation to respond to all the varied and changing charitable needs within the county.

Because community foundations adhere strictly to donor stated purpose, only the unrestricted funds are there for an emergency or new community need in Clarion County.  Over the years it is astonishing the number of charitable needs met by a nimble unrestricted fund.  It can respond within 48 hours if need be.  Charles Marlin

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Sometimes a title says all that needs to be said, as this one does Early Cook Forest State Park: The Area Visited through Post Cards and Photographs of the 1930s and 1940s, compiled by James T. MacBeth, local and member of the extended Cook family.

For many visitors this will be the perfect memento for a vacation in or near the park.  Visitors will be able to spot places they know from the many photographs.  The price is $20 plus $1.20 state tax.  There is no distributor so the only locations known to sell the book are the Book Nook in Clarion and the MacBeth Gift Shop in Cook Forest.

Local authors who publish their own books seem to always fail to make the connection between publishing and distribution.  Maybe that’s part of the local charm as well as being inconvenient.

The Longfellow Pine, illustrated here and in the book is the tallest tree in the northeastern United States at 181.3 feet.

The Cook Mausoleum, made of blue granite with a stained glass window displaying logs floating down Tom’s Run, is a site to see and see from.  It is well worth the walk.

The deep dark interior of old forest is everywhere in the park, and will make you a photographic artist.  Charles Marlin

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                      Mr ? Man

# 9  What is the most popular field-of-interest fund?

Mr?Man thinks these are very important questions for every donor and friend of community foundations.

Those funds that are created to respond to grant applications in the community without restrictions are called unrestricted grants funds.  They may have as their field-of-interest all of Clarion County or a township or community such as New Bethlehem, Rimersburg, Sligo, or Clarion.  A qualified nonprofit located within the field-of-interest may submit a grant application.

Clarion County Community Foundation has an all county field-of-interest fund named The Unrestricted Grants Fund, but that would not prevent a donor from creating a fund specifically for their community.

# 10  What about scholarship funds?

Scholarship funds are familiar to everyone because they are often used to memorialize a former student, coach, teacher, or family.  Scholarship funds are a separate type of fund from a field-of-interest.

They are usually restricted to graduating seniors from one or two local high schools, and list the criteria for selecting the scholarship recipients.  The fund committee is often made up of people associated with the school or person memorialized.

For example, CCCF has the Mary E. Shaner Scholarship Fund, created by a bequest in Ms Shaner’s will, for graduating seniors at Keystone High School.  Ms Shaner was a lifetime resident of the Knox community and taught as well as served as librarian in the school district.

# 11  Can anyone donate to a scholarship fund that is already established?

Yes, a donor can select any scholarship fund listed for the community foundation, and make a donation.  Even if the fund has been in existence for generations, donations are always welcomed.  Many scholarship funds are created by a circle of friends and family and supported by various charitable events held each year.  Charles Marlin

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