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Community Foundation of White County

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  • Writer's pictureLucy Dold

Our Founding Fathers & Philanthropy

This time of year, our neighborhoods are filled with the smokey scent of burgers and hotdogs on the grills, the vision of patriotic decorations in our yards by day, and fireflies and fireworks dancing in the skies by night. The summer settles in with blessings abound, reminding us to celebrate and share in the freedoms that our founding fathers built to protect.

One of those founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, was essential in solidifying philanthropy as a foundational piece in the way in which we operate our society.

Introducing public-private partnerships, Benjamin Franklin believed in community and collaboration for the greater good. He raised funds from the general population to grow support for many projects that he believed would build a thriving nation- libraries, universities, hospitals, and more. This was during a time when most folks typically donated to their churches, and those only in higher status would trickle their wealth to the poor and needy. This shift in power allowed everyday citizens to make a collective difference and develop a society based on their visions and dreams, not the dreams of a monarchy.

As his private fundraising efforts grew, Franklin was able to leverage that support to gain additional financing from the government. Through this revolutionary partnership, new civic organizations and services became available to all citizens, such as the Library Company, Philadelphia’s first fire department, and the University of Philadelphia.

Today, these public-private partnerships continue to be essential to our country’s growth. When our sectors collaborate, our communities grow stronger.

At your Community Foundation of White County, we are proud partners with our generous donors, local nonprofits, many of our community’s businesses, and government agencies. We strive to work with community partners across the county and region to implement creative and collaborative solutions to our community’s needs, and to also build upon the strengths and legacies gifted from our ancestors. We honor those visionary legacies with gratitude and reverence, thanking those who paved the way, just as this week, we honor those who fought for our freedoms and built our great nation.

To learn more about how you can partner with the Community Foundation to make a difference in White County, reach out to director, Lucy Dold at (574) 583-6911 or log on to www.cfwhitecounty.org.

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