Nov. 15 is National Philanthropy Day, a time designated to celebrate giving. This is a day we can all celebrate even if there's not a Rockefeller anywhere in the family tree. A new report by New Ventures in Philanthropy, an initiative of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, reveals that rural philanthropy is a growing trend across the United States, generating billions of dollars for health care, education and other community needs.
Faced with urgent problems caused by increasing demands and dwindling government resources, rural residents are using grassroots philanthropy to turn the tide and revitalize communities to attract young people and businesses.
"In Putnam County, rural communities are increasingly taking the lead in building new, permanent endowments they can draw upon to address community needs," said Elaine Peck, Executive Director of the Putnam County Community Foundation. "These philanthropic projects involve the entire community and create a ripple effect of benefits."
Here in Putnam County, several new endowments have formed:
* The Bainbridge Improvement Society is taking advantage of the Community Foundation's matching grant program. The endowment can be used to support beautification and other improvements in Bainbridge.
* In Roachdale, members of the community established an endowment that will maintain the beautiful new Roachdale Community Garden behind the library in downtown Roachdale.
"The news of such meaningful activity is certainly another reason to celebrate National Philanthropy Day this year," Peck said.
* * *
The Putnam County Community Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established in 1985 to administer funds established by donors, award grants, and provide leadership, enriching the quality of life and strengthening community in Putnam County. The Community Foundation administers more than 160 funds for individuals and organizations, supporting a variety of charitable activities. Contact the Community Foundation at 653-4978 to receive a free copy of Estate Taxes: Ways to Minimize Their Impact. Putnam County Community Foundation, 2 South Jackson Street, Greencastle, IN 46135.