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New Century Fund asks council to consider community foundation

Wednesday, November 4, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA— A community foundation might be in the works for Columbia because of a suggestion from the New Century Fund, a nonprofit organization that formed a subcommittee to explore the idea this past summer.

The proposed community foundation, a public charity meant to benefit a local area, would act as an "avenue for people who want to donate complicated gifts such as real estate" and "work in partnership with existing foundations," David Stepanek, a member of the Findings of the Community Foundation subcommittee, said Friday.

Teresa Maledy, fund chairwoman, and Bob Gerding, a board member, asked the City Council on Monday to consider putting the project on the budget later.

"We see the community foundation as a way for public and private donations to work together," Maledy said. Gerding spoke next and asked the council to include it in the next budget.

If the foundation were created, a board of directors would be identified to create bylaws and a donation process. An executive would act as a community liaison and be in charge of fundraising, Stepanek said.

The foundation would also partner with Greater Horizons, an affiliate of the Greater Kansas City Foundation. The partnership would allow the foundation to immediately have  tax-exempt status; Greater Horizons would provide support with the accounting and marketing aspects of Columbia's community foundation.

"I personally think (a community foundation) is something way overdue for Columbia," Mayor Darwin Hindman said.


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