The Power of Local Philanthropy

August 13, 2020Impact Stories

On February 20, Blue Grass Community Foundation celebrated the milestone of awarding $100 million in grants since our founding in 1967. This accomplishment would not have been possible without the generosity of our donors and the communities we serve. We invited everyone to join in the fun with a variety of activities throughout the day.

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton kicked off the “Thanks $100 Million” day of celebration with a mayoral proclamation reading at city hall, in which she declared February 20, 2020, “Blue Grass Community Foundation Day.” BGCF President/CEO Lisa Adkins and board chair Fran Taylor then presented executives and representatives of the Urban League of Lexington, the Hearing and Speech Center and Sayre School’s Green Team with grants in honor of the Community Foundation’s initial round of $100 grants awarded in 1968.

“That initial $100 grant from BGCF helped the Urban League fund its charter and formation. Here we both are, 52 years later, going strong and growing,” said Lisa. “That’s the power of local philanthropy.”

The Community Foundation couldn’t have awarded $100 million in grants without the generous donors in our community, and we wanted to give back to express our gratitude. A giveaway of $1,000 Giving Cards was orchestrated, and we partnered with two of our corporate charitable fundholders to help make it happen. We gave away free drinks at Cup of Commonwealth and Chocolate Holler, and free stickers at the Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall. One lucky customer at each location also received a $1,000 BGCF Giving Card redeemable for their favorite local nonprofit.

A fourth $1,000 BGCF Giving Card was given away in a special social media promotion.

The day concluded with a reception at The Apiary, where we celebrated with our friends and fundholders, and toasted our past accomplishments and the exciting potential of our future.

It took 45 years for Blue Grass Community Foundation to grant the first $50 million but less than seven years to grant the next $50 million. In just the past 10 years alone, we have awarded $87.8 million in grants and scholarships. This means that since 2009, 754 students received college scholarships and 4,216 nonprofit organizations received grants, with the vast majority of all funding staying right here in Kentucky.

This record of success leads us to ask, how many more years will it take until we grant the next $50 million? Will it be another seven years or can we do it in three years or even less time? Just how fast can we accelerate our collective generosity?

Let’s start by considering how we can be more generous. Can we increase our own personal charitable giving by just 5%? Maybe more? If you don’t yet have a donor advised charitable fund to simplify and organize your current giving, the Community Foundation is here to work with you to establish one.

If you haven’t yet planned your charitable legacy, we’re here to help. If you manage or own a business, consider how your company can engage in corporate charitable giving. We offer a full suite of charitable solutions to help you and your employees get more engaged.

Contact us today! We’d love to help you write your charitable story, and we’d love for you to be a part of ours.

To learn how BGCF can help you establish a charitable legacy aligned with your goals, contact Lisa Adkins, President/CEO, at 859.225.3343.