As the Leadership Premier program drew to a close last June, the members of the Class of 2010 began to think about how they could put the experiences of the past nine months into action and make an impact on the community and on Leadership itself.
Motivated by their experiences and the connections among class members, the Class of 2010 pursued a variety of outlets for their renewed energy to serve the community. As a group, the class served a “pre-Thanksgiving” dinner for Howard County’s Grassroots residents and provided holiday gifts for deserving families through the Salvation Army Adopt-A-Family program.
In addition to these hands-on activities, the Class of 2010 sought a sustainable legacy to commemorate the Leadership Howard County’s 25th anniversary. The class created a Charitable Fund Committee that studied the feasibility, obtained approvals and prepared the appropriate policies, procedures and guidelines for a donor advised fund.
Having explored numerous alternatives, the Fund Committee, in consultation with Leadership Howard County and its board of directors, selected The Columbia Foundation as the partner of choice to administer the Leadership Howard County Charitable Fund (“The Leadership Fund”).
The Leadership Fund has been established so the contributors directly influence the selection of beneficiaries to receive the proceeds distributed annually. A Leadership Fund Committee has been established with representation from the Leadership Howard County Board, the Class of 2010 and the future classes upon graduation.
It is the committee’s desire to engage each graduating Leadership Howard County Premier Program class as its members emerge inspired from the experience to participate as members of the committee. The founding committee members of the 25th Anniversary Class of 2010 have agreed to remain active with the committee oversight of The Leadership Fund for at least two to three years, with one member from that class committed for 10 years to ensure the sustainability of The Leadership Fund for future generations.
Over the near term, the committee will assess the fundraising effort and test the procedures for selecting beneficiaries. Over the longer term, the plan is to seek coordinated and planned opportunities, events for fundraising and charitable contributions through members, their employers and their network.
How the Fund Works
• Contributions will be accepted to the fund by or through “active” LHC members.
• Contributions will be invested in an “unendowed” fund through The Columbia Foundation.
• Each contributor will be given “donation” voting rights based on one vote for each $1 contribution made to the fund.
• Contributors will be asked to recommend a limited number of eligible 501(c)3 charities serving Howard County.
• Each donating member will be eligible to cast his/her votes from Oct. 1–31 beginning in the year 2011.
• Awards will be distributed based on 75% of the current calendar year’s contributions plus 10% of the LHC Fund balance on Dec. 31 of the prior calendar year.
• Funds will be awarded on Dec. 1 of each year (beginning in 2011) until the available funds appropriated for the year have been exhausted.
Important note: Entities whose sole purpose is the support or promotion of political or religious causes are not eligible to receive donations from the fund.
The Leadership Charitable Fund Committee would like to thank the Leadership Premier Class of 2010, the Leadership Howard County board and The Columbia Foundation for their support of this effort.
How to Make a Contribution
The Leadership Fund is now available to receive tax-deductible contributions through The Columbia Foundation.
Contribute online at www.columbiafoundation.org/give/donate/fund. Search under the heading “Funds for the Leadership Howard County Charitable Fund.” Designate “The Leadership Fund” to be the beneficiary of your tax-deductible gift. Or you may mail a check payable to “The Columbia Foundation” with a notation in the memo line designating your contribution for the Leadership Fund.
For more information about contributing to the Leadership Howard County Charitable Fund, log onto www.columbiafoundation.org.
Tim Lewis (Leadership Premier 2010) is managing director at Chesapeake Corporate Advisors, and served as chair of the Charitable Fund Committee. Fund Committee members included Rick Wagener, Dottie Paxton, Grace Morris, Joe Garrison, Patricia Sasse and Sheila Donahue. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.