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Local

St. Charles eyeing new way to fund public projects

Considering proposal to partner with Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley

ST. CHARLES – City officials are considering partnering with the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley to help raise money for community programs and projects.

The St. Charles City Council's Government Operations Committee on Nov. 5 recommended approval of a memorandum of understanding between the foundation and the city, which will now go before the full City Council for review. The nonprofit foundation, which was founded in 1948, serves the Greater Aurora area, the Tri-Cities and Kendall County. Foundation funds provide grants to nonprofit organizations as well as for scholarships.

The foundation has 500 charitable funds and $80 million in assets. The foundation, previously known as The Aurora Foundation, has provided grants to fund several capital projects in the area, including at Lazarus House in St. Charles and TriCity Family Services in Geneva.

In the spring, 23 agencies received grants from the foundation. The group's mission statement is "to provide effective and rewarding ways for donors to fulfill their philanthropic objectives."

"There is an opportunity out there to ask people in the community, who want to leave a legacy, who want to make a difference in their community and who want to be generous, that they give back to their community with a donation," City Administrator Mark Koenen said in addressing committee members at the Nov. 5 meeting. "St. Charles has a long history of giving back. You can talk about the Norris family and the Baker family and that list goes on and on."

Koenen described the foundation as an organization that "connects donors to projects." As proposed in the memorandum of understanding, the foundation would work with an advisory committee to identify, qualify, solicit and facilitate charitable gifts from current and prospective donors.

A minimum gift or deposit of $10,000 would be required to establish any endowed fund at the foundation. Proposed gifts of less than $500 would not be encouraged by the advisory committee, foundation or city.

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