Frank Hennessey, Founding Chairman
As we celebrate this season of giving and usher in a new year, we also pause to reflect on endings and beginnings – the end of what was a tumultuous 2016 and the promise of new opportunities in 2017. Much has been and will continue to be written about not only the national but global impact of the 2016 election cycle for us, our family and our community.
Yet the generosity of spirit that is the hallmark of the Ocala/Marion County community is visible now more than ever far beyond the exchange of gifts among family, friends and loved ones. It is reflected in the Red Kettles of the Salvation Army, the “Bring the Harvest Home” food drive, the Community with a Heart and the countless efforts of our extraordinary nonprofits, civic groups and faith communities that echo the very definition of philanthropy – “for the love of humanity”.
We here at the Community Foundation have one overarching goal – to build community by Connecting Donors to the Causes They Care About. The Community Foundation serves donors, professional advisers and non-profits through personalized service, local expertise and community leadership offering a wide array of funding vehicles and gifting opportunities. We are honored to administer a family of endowed funds for individuals, families and non-profit entities. We serve as a repository of contributions and bequests from our donors to facilitate their charitable giving.
Countless articles and commentaries have been and continue to be written at this time of year about year-end giving. They include this Wall Street Journal article Giving Back Isn’t Only for Billionaires that quotes Pam Norley, head of Fidelity Charitable that donor advised funds have “democratized giving" not only making giving seamless and readily accessible but more importantly leveraging resources to meet ever increasing needs. And as Laura Saunders of the WSJ notes in Charity Accounts Become the Hot Holiday Must-Have there has been tremendous growth in donor advised funds over the last five years more than doubling from $10.4 billion to $20.4 billion per the National Philanthropic Trust.
Pre-inauguration 2017, as the President-elect builds his cabinet, there is increased focus on tax policy reform and the potential implications for charitable giving. As this transition continues and with it all of the uncertainties that naturally occur, now more than ever, your Community Foundation is focused on community building as all of us in Ocala Marion County continue to work tirelessly to better the lives of all of our citizens. Working together with our donors and our public and private partners in both the charitable and civic sectors, enables us to leverage charitable giving for maximum impact.
Our commitment to sustainable community building is evidenced by our core promises to be a center of excellence for investment portfolio management, the source for extraordinary grant making opportunities coupled with access to targeted resources that best meet the needs of our community. We make charitable giving seamless and easy – a great lasting benefit to our donors, the charities that they support, and the greater good of our community.
Now more than ever – JOIN US!