Jefferson County Community Foundation (JCCF) and United Good Neighbors (UGN) are merging to create what they hope will be a new era in philanthropy and volunteer engagement in Jefferson County. The two organizations have worked collaboratively since 2012 with shared staff and facilities. Now, they intend to merge by March 31 with one board overseeing both.
“In 2017, the two will become one 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization named Jefferson Community Foundation to better serve the people throughout all communities of Jefferson County, itsdonors and its nonprofits,” said Ken Dane, interim executive director of UGN. “The synergy that has come out of that partnership has made it worthwhile to continue as one
organization,” Dane said. The newly combined organization is creating a shared budget and will develop a new strategic
plan as they merge systems and processes for greater efficiency. They are recruiting a new executive director to lead the combined organization, and will be assembling a UGN Campaign Committee that can lead an ambitious, record-setting campaign in this 60th year, Dane said.
UGN, founded in 1957, is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2017. It recently concluded its 2016 campaign, which brought in more than $300,000, Dane said. During the past decade, UGN has raised and distributed about $2.5 million.
Jefferson County Community Foundation was established in 2005 around a shared set of values and purpose to make Jefferson County a better place to live and work. The organization brings together individuals, families and businesses to support nonprofits through endowments, field of interest funds such as the Fund for Women and Girls, donor advised funds, giving circles and scholarship funds.
Rose Lincoln, chair of the JCCF, said that changes in society and technology have created new philosophies, approaches and tools for donors and the nonprofits they support. “Our community is creative and progressive; we can be a leader in community giving, family philanthropy and volunteerism,” she notes. “Through the merger, we will embrace emerging
trends and technologies to reach more donors, make giving easier and achieve greater results with more visible accountability. As stewards of our donors’ contributions, it is our obligation to be more efficient and to strengthen our impact.”
Benefactors are also excited to see the two nonprofits merge. “We have valued our past partnerships with both UGN and JCCF,” said Dale Wilson, executive director of Olympic Community Action Programs (OlyCAP). “Looking forward, we are confident this consolidation will bring new energy, capacity and potential to Jefferson County’s nonprofit community. The new Jefferson Community Foundation will build upon a rich history of success,while creating the capacity to strengthen our community today and tomorrow.”
Nationwide, community foundations play a role in identifying and solving community problems in fields that included the arts and education, health and human services, the environment and disaster relief. In the past 11 years, JCCF has distributed more than $600,000 in grants supporting a diversityof programs in education, environmental stewardship, youth athletics and the arts throughout Jefferson County.