- Serves as a conduit between donors, charitable organizations and community leaders
- Provides financial and leadership frameworks to consistently grow Ocala/Marion County resources
- Works proactively with public/private partners to identify issues that impact Ocala/Marion County
- Convenes leadership from public/private/nonprofit partners to explore solutions to community issues
- Manages assets ethically and effectively to allow maximum growth of funds
- Responsibly honors donor’s intent in perpetuity
- Operates under established standards of the Council on Foundations.
|Frank Hennessey||Hennessey Arabians|
|Bob Reilly||Retired Executive|
|Michael Siboni||Siboni & Buchannan, PLLC|
|Jim Schneider||President/CEO Saratoga Chips|
|Bill Chambers||Merrill Lynch|
|Susan Gilliland||Director/ Live Oak International Driving Event|
|Richard Watts||RHW Consulting|
|Jon Kurtz||Silver River Bank Community Bank|
|Chester Weber||Live Oak Farm|
|Rich Bianculli||Richmond Hill Capital Partners|
|Joan Stearns||Retired Executive|
|Lauren Deiorio||Executive Director|
In 2007, Frank and Carol Hennessey moved to Ocala and learned there was no local community foundation. Hennessey saw his local giving purpose – the formation of a community foundation. Hennessey reached out to his friend, Robert Reilly, and together they created a local foundation, the Community Foundation for Ocala/ Marion County, incorporated in 2011, to attract other philanthropists to help build a stronger community.
Founding Board Members:
William Chambers, Jr.
Edward Johnson, Jr.
A community foundation is a tax exempt, nonprofit, publicly supported organization that empowers donors to strengthen their community, one passion at a time. The common mission of every community foundation is to enhance the quality of life in the local area. Building permanent endowment funds and using a portion of the annual income, Community foundations support a variety of local nonprofits through grants and special projects.
A community foundation is governed by a board of community leaders and is administered by professional staff. Operating expenses are paid from a modest annual fund fee – 1% of fund balance – and from gifts designated by donors to cover foundation operating and program costs. The community foundation adheres to an investment policy established and approved by its Board of Directors.
We offer the best tax advantages for charitable donations available under law. As a publicly supported nonprofit, 501C3 organization, we are able to offer greater tax advantages than a private foundation.
All community foundations are independently organized and operated. There are 32 community foundations in Florida. Just as we serve Marion County, each community foundation is defined in part by serving a specific geographic area.
- DESIGNATED AGENCY FUNDS – A charitable giving vehicle administered by the Foundation and created for managing gifts. Donors may receive an immediate tax benefit and award grants from the fund over time. Donors also have the ability to remain anonymous if they choose.
- DONOR-ADVISED FUNDS – Donors may periodically recommend to the foundation a distribution be made to a specific nonprofit These are especially suited to donors with a variety of charitable interests and a desire to be involved with philanthropy. They are an attractive alternative to establishing a private foundation, which is typically less efficient and more costly. Corporations often partner with Community Foundations to streamline the administrative cost of corporate giving.
- ENDOWMENTS (Agency or individual) – Donors and agencies have the opportunity to fund areas of needs in perpetuity. Endowments allow the organization to access the earnings of the fund on an annual basis while preserving the core investment for the future.
- SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS – which allows donors to create new scholarships in memory of loved ones without the complexity and expense of having to establish and administer each scholarship separately. We accept donations of any size to support existing scholarship funds, including our general scholarship program, but we ask donors interested in establishing new scholarship funds to seek our assistance in designing the new funds.
- DESIGNATED AGENCY PASS-THROUGH FUNDS – These gifts, typically for a capital campaign, allow donors the convenience of one donation while providing agencies the ability to maximize earnings while still having access to liquid assets.
Generally, a gift of $5,000 is required to establish an active fund. There are higher minimums for certain types of funds such as scholarships. Funds can be established with a smaller gift and a pledge to reach the minimum requirement within five years. No grants or scholarships will be distributed from the fund until the minimum requirement is met.
Outright gifts of cash, real estate, securities and/or personal property can be donated. You may also make a bequest by will/trust or life insurance or retirement plan assets.
The community foundation’s mission is very broad, allowing for flexibility to partner with a variety of nonprofits to meet the giving interests of a wide group of donors. Area nonprofits benefit from having a local community foundation because the community foundation helps money stay in a community. Community foundations benefit local nonprofits by managing an endowment on their own behalf. We call such funds “agency endowment funds.”
Both organizations are important resources to Marion County. Some have described the differences by suggesting the United Way is more like the community’s checkbook, raising and distributing money annually, while the Foundation is more like a charitable savings account, distributing grants from a long-term fund in perpetuity. The United Way focuses on education, financial stability and health, while the Foundation’s scope of funding is much broader and includes working in areas such as economic development, education, the environment, community betterment, the arts and culture, as well as health and human services. Community foundations focus on attracting and managing permanent endowments. Most chapters of the United Way do not attempt to manage long-term funds or permanent endowments. Locally, the Community Foundation views the United Way as a tremendous partner in strengthening Ocala/Marion County.
Our community foundation offers two primary benefits:
- We help raise the level of local giving, keeping more charitable dollars in the local community. It is our aim to build a local source of charitable capital that will become a steady, long-term resource for Marion County.
- We help to ensure that charitable endowment gifts given to help our community will remain effective and relevant overlong periods of time. Even as local needs and giving opportunities change, a community foundation is able to adapt charitable funds to find relevance in a changing community.