The St. Charles City Council on Nov. 19 approved a memorandum of understanding between the foundation and the city. 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 City Council's Government Operations Committee had previously recommended approval of the proposal. The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley 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 had said during a discussion earlier this month about the proposal.
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.
Certain proposed gifts may require additional review by city representatives, according to the memorandum of understanding.