You might know November as the month of national Look for Circles Day (11.2), or even False Confession Day (11.21), but it also hosts a week honoring community foundations. Community Foundation Week is November 12 – 18, and was created by George H.W. Bush in 1989, recognizing the important work of community foundations throughout America and their collaborative and innovative approach to working with public, private and non-profit sectors. This is an opportunity for the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, as others like us are doing across the nation, to share a bit more on who we are and the greater family of which we are part.
But what is a community foundation? We are different. From your usual nonprofit, that is. Our scope is wide, in that we care about many aspects of the community’s wellbeing. We aim local. Within a globalized infrastructure, we focus on those near us. Our board reflects who the community is, and is very engaged in the work. In broad strokes a community foundation, being part of the local social fabric, is better positioned than any other body to know what the people it cares for need to thrive.
We are also the same. There are nearly two thousand organizations like us around the globe, and nearly half as many in the US alone. We all provide a more direct channel of aid between donors and causes, and collectively invest billions of dollars annually into our communities.
Red Lodge Area Community Foundation (RLACF) was created in 2003 to facilitate the Fun Run, an event now 19 years strong, that brings the community together to fundraise and create awareness for more than 60 local nonprofit organizations. The Foundation has since expanded to include more than 40 projects focused on 4 key program areas; Thriving Nonprofits, Resilient Community, Robust Arts and Culture, and Connected Youth. These four program areas represent essential components of a vibrant and thriving community.
“Community foundations have the reach, expertise, and relationships to address some of the most pressing issues impacting individuals and families nationwide,” said Tracy Timmons, Red Lodge Area Community Foundation Executive Director. “We are more determined than ever to collaborate with partners to deliver the innovative and lasting solutions that will help our communities to thrive.”
It is only with your contribution and involvement that organizations such as RLACF can hope to make a difference. Let’s take a moment to consider our foundation’s impact in Carbon County, multiply that by a few thousand, and imagine the wonderful webs of cooperation at work around the world.