2017 was another successful year for the H. N. G. Foundation. While maintaining our primary mission of growing our Foundation endowment, we volunteered as temporary treasurer for the Party Rock Relief Fund by distributing over $30,000 donations to Gorge fire departments, EMS and other fire relief groups.
The Foundation collaborated with the H. N. G. Chamber, Lake Lure Mayor B. Keith, Chimney Rock Mayor, P. O’Leary, and the Rumbling Bald Resort to sponsor a celebratory event to honor all fire fighters and other organizations who fought the Party Rock Fire. Additional fire-fighting donations were collected during this January 2018 event.
The Foundation’s Endowment grew to over $148,000 since our founding in 2006. The cumulative investment earnings generated from this fund have allowed us to grant $21,750 to Gorge non-profit organizations since our 2006 founding.
The 2017 endowment growth of 22% over 2016’s has allowed us to grant to Gorge non-profits as follows:
- • $1,400 to the Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach for community needs related to the Party Rock Fire.
- • A $500 award to Chimney Rock Volunteer Fire Department and a $500 award to Chimney Rock Development Association in honor of Buck & Barbara Meliski who were the ‘2017 Community Impact’ honorees.
- • $1,800 granted to the ‘Little Garden that Grew – Life Roots’ Project which is an outdoor educational and agricultural garden annexed to the back of The Mountains Branch Library.
Eight new Founder’s Circle (F C) members enrolled into the 10-year Founder’s Circle pledge program which now has 65 memberships (120 persons). Annual pledged donations of both existing and new F C Members totaled $16,600 in 2017 which went directly to the Foundation’s endowment.
Over the last two school years, $400 grants from the ‘Tatanka Principal’s Discretionary Fund‘ were granted to LLCA for school uniforms for financially challenged families and for STEM supplies for middle school students. This ‘Tatanka’ Fund is an affiliated fund to our H N G Foundation Fund and it reports to our Board how its grants are used by LLCA. Our Board then reports to the Founder Circle members.
At an August Board-of-Directors Retreat, the Foundation Board refined its strategy and operating objectives to create stronger governance, to solicit increased donations and build an operations fund. The key objectives / projects identified to accomplish these goals, were:
1. Define a wider scope marketing plan and a realistic budget aimed at building the endowment
2. Establish a new ‘Builder Circle’ Pledge program to fund hiring professionals who will promote and advertise the Foundation through the revised marketing plan
3. Research how other foundations raise operations funds and adapt these to our marketing
4. Survey ‘F C’ members’ for their top choices to which the foundation should grant and what philanthropic goals do ‘F C’ members want our Foundation to achieve.