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Arizona Community Foundation Part of Centennial Celebration

PHOTO: The Arizona Community Foundation is joining about 700 colleague organizations nationwide in celebrating a century since the first community foundation was started in Cleveland. Photo courtesy of the City of Phoenix.
PHOTO: The Arizona Community Foundation is joining about 700 colleague organizations nationwide in celebrating a century since the first community foundation was started in Cleveland. Photo courtesy of the City of Phoenix.
December 4, 2014

PHOENIX - Community foundations in Arizona and across the nation have been helping their communities since the first one was founded a century ago in Cleveland. Earlier this week, President Obama recognized the 100th anniversary of the first community foundation.

Megan Brownell, chief business development and brand officer with the Arizona Community Foundation, says the organizations act as stewards for millions of dollars of endowments that benefit many charities.

"We have over 1,400 separate funds under management today, $675 million in charitable assets, and we award about $40 million in grants and scholarships every year," Brownell says.

The Arizona Community Foundation funds more than 3,000 organizations each year that range from the Humane Society to the Phoenix Rescue Mission. Brownell says the funds pay out about five percent annually but grow at an average annual rate of eight percent.

"The fund continues to grow over time so after a period of 20 or 25 years, the balance in the fund is actually more than the original gift," she says. "The fund has awarded grants more than the original gift. That's kind of that income-generating power of endowment."

Brownell says the Arizona Community Foundation, and similar organizations, provide funding for programs and services that impact tens of thousands of lives in the communities they serve.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - AZ