By Walter GeigerThe Community Foundation has rolled out a new campaign designed to build its general fund by seeking out donors willing to give $1 per day.The rollout, called Lamar Gives 365, is the first time such an effort has been made in Georgia. The prototype was launched in Memphis where it has been very successful. ‘People like it. They can pride themselves on thinking they are doing something for their community every day,’ noted BLCF board member Pat Edwards.The BLCF, which was founded in 2006, has $207,770 in its general fund. The fund has earned 5.8% net of fees over the past six months. The Lamar County Fund has about $1.2 million but many of those funds are earmarked for specific purposes.Since 2008, BLCF has awarded $36,000 in local grants. Last year, for example, $2000 went to the effort to beautify Greenwood Cemetery. Another $1000 went to the Ferst Foundation which promotes childhood reading. In 2012, $2000 grants went to the Great Day of Service, the Conservatory for the Arts, Lamar County 4-H, the Hope Tree Foundation and the disaster relief effort following the April 2011 tornado here.’Having the BLCF, an entity with 501C3 status, in place was a blessing in the aftermath of the tornado. It allowed us to bring in a lot more money,’ Edwards said.Lamar Gives 365 is an initiative to boost the general fund. Each donor is asked to give $1 per day. Their dollars are pooled with others, invested and half the money is returned to the community in the form of grants the same year it is given. The other half is placed in an endowment to grow the general fund corpus.Donors, if they desire, can be involved in the grant evaluation process and decide where their money is spent.The new program was kicked off at an appreciation dinner August 14 at the Barnesville Civic Center honoring the BLCF founders. You can learn more about getting involved at lamargives.org or by contacting a member of the BLCF board.Board members are chairman Noel Riggins, vice chairman Bruce Akins, treasurer Mike Brutz, secretary Tammy Merritt, Phillip Bell, Andy Bush, Edwards, Tom Gardner, Charles Glass, Bill Lindsey, Jeff Manley and George Weldon.
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