Springfield foundation hits record $100 million in assets

A community organization that provides funding to local nonprofits as well as annual scholarships to area students has reached over $100 million in assets.

It is the most in assets that the Springfield Foundation has had in its 73-year existence.

The more assets the foundation has, the more money the foundation can distribute back to the community each year, Springfield Foundation Executive Director Ted Vander Roest said.

On average, 5% of the foundation’s assets are distributed annually to local nonprofits as well as area students, Vander Roest said. That money comes from donors as well as a number of endowments and scholarship funds that have been set up over the years.

“We are incredibly grateful for the generosity and dedication of our donors, board members, staff and community partners for helping us achieve this goal. We send our heartfelt thanks to each and every one of them for supporting the Springfield Foundation and all the important causes we’ve supported over the years,” Vander Roest said.

The foundation distributes approximately $600,000 to students in Clark County every year from a variety of scholarship funds. In addition to that, $600,000 in grants are provided to local nonprofits on an annual basis.

Over 400 endowments have been set up with the foundation, which serves as a channel between donors and community programs. Since its creation, the Springfield Foundation has distributed over $65 million back to the community in grants and scholarships, Vander Roest said.

Vander Roest said that the foundation has spent years cultivating relationships with local donors. He said that along with a strong stock market in recent years has helped build the foundation’s assets to reach over $100 million.

He said that represents an important milestone as it allows the foundation to distribute more money to organizations working in the community, such as the Second Harvest Food Bank of Clark, Champaign & Logan Counties.

Second Harvest has an endowment with the foundation and uses money received to provide food to those in the community.

Tyra Jackson, the executive director of the food bank , said that the Springfield Foundation served as a financial sponsor as Second Harvest transitioned into an independent nonprofit going into 2020.

The food bank also received over $50,000 from the foundation last year as Second Harvest saw a significant increase in the demand for its services amid the coronavirus pandemic, Jackson said.

Money received from the Springfield Foundation that year included a $15,000 annual grant as well as $20,000 to help serve Springfield residents as a Kroger location closed in the south side creating a food dessert.

Additional funds were provided in 2020 as well to help with the mounting costs associated with serving communities hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Second Harvest saw a 76% increase in the number of people served in 2020 when compared to 2019. Jackson said that over 65,000 people were served and $10.5 million meals where provided in 2020, a 116% increase when compared to 2019.

Jackson said that Second Harvest receives funding from a variety of different sources.

“Those funds really made a huge difference. Every dollar we receive can provide at least five meals,” she added.

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