News Column

Community Foundation raises record $88.6M

May 14, 2014

By Kevin McKenzie, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.



May 14--As the stock market plunged with the Great Recession in 2008, the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis saw the value of its investment in securities fall by $49 million in a single year.

What a difference five years make.

Largely fueled by the strong stock market, the foundation on Tuesday reported that grants made by its donors for the fiscal year that ended in April reached a record $88.6 million.

That's up from $58 million a year ago, which itself was a leap up from the usual $30 to $40 million in previous years, said Bob Fockler, president of the Foundation.

Assets for the foundation, primarily stocks, stood at $187.5 million on April 30, 2009. They've climbed to a little over $346 million, Fockler said.

"The point is that Memphis is an incredibly generous place, and it's not because we're an incredibly wealthy place, we're really not," he said.

Still, while the stock market has helped some donors boost their giving, the aftermath of the Great Recession also has caused the demand for services from nonprofit organizations to continue to increase, said Nancy McGee, chief executive officer of the Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence, a Memphis leadership consulting group.

A new study of 5,196 nonprofit organizations in the Mid-South by the alliance and the University of Memphis Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leaders found that fundraising results in fiscal 2013 increased for half of the organizations. But fewer than six of every 10, or 58 percent, were able to meet increased demand for services.

Nationally, a 2014 survey by the Nonprofit Finance Fund echoes those findings.

"You still have nonprofits over the past year struggling to meet demand," McGee aid. "I don't know that you'd call it a recovery; I don't think there will be a full recovery for quite some time."

Tax advantages help attract donors to the Community Foundation, which Fockler said is like a charitable bank where individuals and families can open charitable funds, make deposits and decide when grants are made and to which causes.

Education including charter schools has drawn a huge share of giving in Memphis, accounting for 45 percent of the grants made in the fiscal year that just ended, he said.

The stellar financial year for the foundation's donor-advised funds was announced during its annual meeting, held at The Orpheum. The foundation also announced a rebranding, aided by Hemline Creative Marketing LLC, centered on updating its logo of a tree for the Internet and social media age, he said.

___

(c)2014 The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.)

Visit The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) at www.commercialappeal.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


For more stories on investments and markets, please see HispanicBusiness' Finance Channel



Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)


Story Tools






HispanicBusiness.com Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters