Serving Sangamon and surrounding counties

Understanding

your community foundation

History

Our Roots
In 1924, three of the banks in Springfield created the Sangamon County Foundation to provide financial resources to local charitable causes. Those banks were the First State Trust and Savings Bank (now US Bank), the Ridgley-Farmers State Bank (which no longer exists) and the Marine Bank of Springfield (now J.P. Morgan).The founders of the foundation included some of our community’s most prominent citizens. The list of people present at the October 20, 1924 meeting to establish the Sangamon County Foundation includes:

  • Jacob Bunn
  • George W. Bunn
  • Joseph F. Bunn
  • Thomas Condell
  • Alonzo Hoff
  • J.H. Holbrook
  • R.C. Lanphier
  • John G. Oglesby
  • George Pasfield, Jr.
  • William E. Lehne
  • George F. Reisch
The original Foundation had been a leading supporter of organizations throughout Central Illinois for nearly 80 years. However, as the charitable landscape grew and diversified it became apparent that the organization had to evolve in order to better serve the common good.

Our Reach
The Sangamon County Foundation's board of directors had the vision to rethink its purpose and find a better way to serve the residents of Sangamon County. In December 2002, after substantial research and planning, the board voted to become a community foundation and reorganize as the Sangamon County Community Foundation. In April 2003, the Community Foundation hired John Stremsterfer as its first Executive Director and opened an office on the Old State Capitol square in Springfield.

Our Growth
From 2003 to 2015, the Community Foundation grew from one fund with approximately $800,000 in total assets to over 150 funds with more than $22.4 million in total assets. The Foundation has awarded more than $7.2 million in grants in its short history, including nearly $600,000 in scholarship awards.

Our Present
In January 2011, the board of directors voted to change its name to the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln. With this new name, the Community Foundation hopes to be seen as an inviting option for philanthropists and charitable organizations in neighboring communities to Sangamon County that are not currently reaping the benefits a community foundation can provide. Our offices are currently located in the US Bank Building at 205 South Fifth Street in Springfield.

 
Why the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln?

The Community Foundation offers many advantages to donors, professional advisors, nonprofit organizations and the community at large. We constantly strive to ensure that the giving process is as streamlined and safe as possible so our donors can focus on the most important aspect of philanthropy - helping others. Some of the rewards of choosing to work with us include:

Permanence. As living memorials, funds held by the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln can carry out the desired charitable interests in perpetuity. If a fund's purpose becomes outdated over time, the Community Foundation can redirect it to similar purposes.

Tax Advantages. Because we're a public charity and not a private foundation, all donations qualify for the maximum available deduction for charitable contributions. Our funds also avoid the excise taxes and other restrictions placed on private foundations.

Charitable Impact. The Foundation understands the needs and roles of nonprofit organizations in our service area, so we can help our funds target grants and scholarships where they do the most good. By pooling contributions for administration and investment purposes, we incur lower management costs than a separate private foundation. This means more money goes to the desired causes than in other arrangements where overhead costs are higher.

Flexibility. Each donor can name a fund or remain anonymous, permanently endow their gifts or not, choose general charitable purposes or very specific ones, make modest gifts or large ones, and donate assets ranging from cash to real estate to artwork.

Convenience. Most funds can be created in one brief meeting. Afterward, the donor retains the satisfaction of giving while we take care of management and paperwork.

Leadership. The Community Foundation can be a place where concerned citizens can discuss and address, through grantmaking and simple dialogue, the important issues that impact our community. Community organizations can look to the neutrality of the Community Foundation to bring people together for the common good.

Our Stories

Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon Fund - It's music to our ears.

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