A Catalyst for Change
When it comes to uplifting our nonprofit partners, the Community Foundation can take on many different roles to help our boots on the ground folks accomplish their missions. The most obvious way is through funding—our community grants cast a wide net across the county and touch many different areas of our lives like our health, the arts, education, and more. Agency endowments take that funding a step further by providing everlasting and growing support, a strong commitment to the mission’s sustainability. Sometimes we act as conveners, bringing together involved parties to facilitate discussion and problem solving.
For the White County Animal Wellness Center, the Community Foundation acted as a catalyst toward earning their nonprofit status.
An extension of the Monon Vet Clinic, Dr. Samantha Shields, owner-operator, had a dream: to continue her veterinary practice and also create a nonprofit community space for animals and their owners – a place that could include a walking path, exercise areas, possible educational opportunities, and would encourage overall animal wellness.
So how does that work? Further, how could the Veterinary Clinic clients be confident that they weren’t funding the new WC Animal Wellness Center and that generous donors to the Wellness Center weren’t subsidizing the Clinic?
While a new entity is going through the legal steps to become an IRS-certified non-profit, the community foundation can serve as a vehicle for charitable giving. The White County Animal Wellness Fund was created at CFWC, a pass-through (temporary) fund to accept charitable gifts to benefit and help launch the new Wellness Center.
Community-wide fundraising efforts established generous support for the new center, and now, they have received their official IRS Determination Letter that establishes the Center as a legal not-for-profit. Since becoming official, all funds from the WC Animal Wellness Fund have been issued as a distribution grant to the organization.
This past year, residents of Monon have watched a new building slowly erect beside the Monon Vet Clinic. There’s still work left to do before they become fully functional to the community, but to witness the creation of a new entity brings new excitement for the community and our four-legged friends.