How Philanthropy Can Make a Difference during Economic Recession

The economic downturn of 2008 devastated economies all around the world. Recovery from that depression has been slow here in the U.S., but certain areas are getting back to pre-downturn economies. Unfortunately, some areas- inner-city populations in particular- continue to suffer.

Miami-Dade County in south Florida is no exception to this depressed state. But there is one group in the area that is striving to make a positive difference in local residents lives. The Key Biscayne Community Foundation is a group dedicated to “enable, facilitate, and empower residents to make a positive difference in the local, greater, and global community through programs, grant making, fiscal scholarship, and community leadership” (Our Philanthropic Strategy, The Key Biscayne Community Foundation).

Patrick Dwyer Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor and 14 other well respected community individuals comprise the Board of Directors for the Key Biscayne Community Foundation (KBCF). They establish policy, set priorities, and make final grant decisions while governing the foundation.

The KBCF helps people who give, understanding the value of charitable work to make their contributions through donor funds.

The KBCF starts off by accepting funds from individual or corporate donors. This will get a fund set up in the KBCF under the donor’s name. The donor’s gift is then invested, and grants from the donor’s fund support the projects that matter the most to the donor, with the grant carrying the donor’s name.

The KBCF Fund Options enables KBCF to assist the donor in how they wish to divide their money between stocks and bonds, so that the donor’s fund does the work for the donor. KBCF provides professional advisors (which include attorneys, accountants, financial advisors, investment managers, and bank trust officers) with the information they need to serve the donor better. The KBCF Funds are: Vanguard Life Strategy Income Fund; Vanguard Life Strategy Conservative Growth Fund; Vanguard Life Strategy Moderate Growth Fund; and the Vanguard Life Strategy Growth Fund.

Donors can give immediately, and suggest grants over time. This, in essence, formulates a private foundation under the donor’s name. The KBCF offers several kinds of funds. Donors can choose to support a wide range of organizations, or focus on supporting specific issues or organizations, however they feel will best fit their charitable goals.

Current types of funds include: Donor Advised Funds; Designated Beneficiary Fund; Field of Interest Fund; Giving Circle Fund; Leadership and Impact Fund; Organization Fund; Legacy Fund; Scholarship Fund; and Supporting Organization Fund.

The KBCF Impact Goals include: create change in the way community problems are addressed and solutions are implemented; respond to emerging or changing needs through the provision of services or programs; strengthen the capabilities of nonprofit agencies both in the delivery of programs and in organizational management, so that the unmet needs of our communities can be filled (Impact, The Key Biscayne Community Foundation).

Through donor recommended grants and discretionary grants, KBCF has provided grants to a great number of different programs and causes, both within the greater Miami-Dade County area, to worldwide relief. Recently, KBCF was able to provide disaster relief for the Haiti post-earthquake, so their giving can reach those in need far outside the donor’s residential area of giving.

With their numerous philanthropic partners, KBCF supports public institutions and nonprofit organizations in fields such as the arts, education, health and human services, the environment, science and technology, civic engagement, and other areas of need.

KBCF, through their donor established funds, have wonderful experience at making meaningful grants to valuable nonprofit organizations through the grant recommendation process. They accept applications from nonprofit organizations for: Social Change Grant; Youth Development Grant; Community Transformation Grant; and Donor Advised Grant.

People that become donors to KBCF are really helping out a lot of people, and are truly making an investment in assisting others in need locslly, nationally, and on a global scale.

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