Community Foundation plans for future needs

Community Foundation plans for future needs by David Lias The task force of the newly formed Vermillion Area Community Foundation (VACF) is requesting that citizens keep the organization in mind as they make future financial plans.

"We hope there will be some local citizens that will find the Vermillion Area Community Foundation a good year end place for a donation to help us reach our goal," said Young Moore, III, a task force member.

Moore helped the foundation become a reality by first calling citizens to an organizational meeting in late September.

On Nov. 1, VACF signed an agreement with the South Dakota Community Foundation and began a fund drive, with the goal of raising $100,000 by Oct. 31, 2003.

If VACF accomplishes that fund-raising goal by that deadline, the South Dakota Community Foundation will match the $100,000 with a gift of $25,000.

"We are pleased to report that we have raised $32,950 towards this goal," Moore said.

Of that amount, $16,184 has been deposited in VACF's account with the South Dakota Community Foundation. Approximately $16,800 is pledged to VACF over the next three years.

Moore noted that Vermillion is the 42nd community in the state to form a fund-raising alliance with the South Dakota Community Foundation.

Besides fund raising, the local task force is also busy recruiting members to serve on the VACF's board of directors.

By mid-February, the task force hopes to have a list of names of community citizens who are seriously interested in serving on the board.

Sometime between February and May 1, the task force will call for a joint meeting with the new board and empower it with responsibilities that so far have been carried out by the task force.

Sources that have been contacted as potential sources for board members include the Vermillion City Council, the Civic Council, the Vermillion Chamber of Commerce, the Clay County Commission, the Clay County Historical Society, the Sioux Valley Vermillion Hospital Association and Foundation, the Lions Club, the Rotary Club, the Senior Citizens Center, United Way of Vermillion, The University of South Dakota, the Vermillion Area Arts Council, the Vermillion banking community, the Vermillion Development Company and the Vermillion School Board.

The Vermillion Chamber of Commerce has agreed to provide administrative support to the VACF. It will receive requests for financial support, make copies available to members of the board, call meetings at the direction of the board chairman and keep meeting records.

The South Dakota Community Foundation will occasionally notify VACF's board of the income that is available for distribution to designated recipients, and will cut checks to those activities or persons authorized to received them.

Moore noted that VACF's task force hopes to have cash or pledges totalling the $100,000 goal before turning over responsibilities to the local board of directors.

"This will gain us a $25,000 match from the South Dakota Community Foundation," he said. "We also will give publicity to and place brochures in the hands of local attorneys, financial planners, accountants and securities dealers that will tell the public about the foundation.

"In time, it should receive bequests and gifts that will provide substantial support to the general welfare of the community," Moore added.

Experience in other communities has shown that it is desirable to have task force members serve terms of at least three years, with a limit of two consecutive terms.

"We have been advised that the biggest problem with community foundations in our state is the continued viability of the board of directors to insure they remain vital, aggressive and representative of the various interests and needs of the community," Moore said. "We hope that what we are proposing will continue to be successful in the future."

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