There are many reasons to be charitable, especially in today’s world. Victims of war-torn countries, survivors of natural disasters, and people struggling to make ends meet in this economy all need help from time to time. The Wharton County Community Foundation was created to help people give to those in need, and they help people keep giving.
The foundation, incorporated in 2003 as a 501(c)(3) organization in Texas, aims “to improve the quality of life for the people of Wharton County.” The organization seeks to help local citizens and businesses by supporting their favorite charities through endowment funds.
“We administer the funds that you (the general public) create to support your charitable giving,” said Gordon Sorrel, a member of the foundation’s board of trustees.
The concept seems confusing at first, he explained, but it is very simple. The fund is a philanthropic pool, where the funds you give to the foundation are placed with others so that even small charitable contributions benefit from all the professional administration of much larger funds, while maintaining their individual identity.
“A person can start a charity fund with as little as $5,000, and some start with much more, but together they are able to generate greater wealth for the entire fund.” said Sorrell.
The foundation held more than $17 million in funds for 2021 and established a 19% return on investment for that year.
On their website, whartonccf.org, anyone can contribute to one of 14 funds created by citizens of Wharton County, or start their own.
There are scholarship funds and endowment funds, as well as funds for church and missionary work.
Sorrel explained that there are nine ways to create a fund for charitable donations.
There are area of interest funds to provide financial benefits to a particular area one might have in mind, without tying them to a specific organization.
“Anyone can build a fund as narrowly or broadly as they want,” Sorrel said.
If someone wanted to start a fund to provide scholarships to ECIDD or WCJC students, “we can help ensure that the funds will continue to give as they wish,” Sorrel added.
Also, if desired, they can set up a fund that gives to any Wharton County student in need. It doesn’t have to be tied to a single organization.
There are unrestricted funds, designated funds, memorial funds, reward funds, and agency funds.
Funds can consist of cash, securities, mutual funds, and even life insurance.
Whether your charitable giving is for children, libraries, scholarships, art, music or community activities, the foundation can help you create a fund that meets your wishes.