Nancy and Donald Rankin do it. Jack and Laurie Heflin do it. Bruce Beebe does it. All Madison residents-not a billionaire among them.
What have they done? They have all made long-lasting charitable gifts to foundations. For the Rankins, the Heflins, and Beebe, that has been the Madison Foundation.
“Since its inception in 1996, the Madison Foundation, through the generosity of many, has given back nearly $1 million to the community,” said Foundation President Nancy Gerson. “Those donations have come in many ways, large and small.”
In its 16 years, the foundation has become the vehicle by which individuals can pool their contributions with those of others to support charitable programs for Madison and its residents. The contributions are as small as $1 and as large as several thousand dollars.
The foundation kicks off its annual fund drive this week.
“Madison residents are generous,” Gerson said, citing the almost-$1 million mark.
These funds have helped finance scholarships for summer camp, warm houses for senior citizens, provide Meals on Wheels for shut-ins, sponsor fundraisers for Special Olympics, distribute musical instruments to disabled veterans, and much, much more.
The foundation has also become the umbrella for separate funds large and small that allow individuals, groups, and families to become philanthropists. As a non-profit community foundation, Madison Foundation makes it easy to establish a fund and to operate it at a minimal cost. With this structure in place, income from endowed funds can be used to support programs with special meaning to the fund’s creators. It opens opportunities for philanthropy to everyone.
Madison Foundation is a vehicle for local charitable giving and positive change within the community.
“We act as a bridge between residents serving the community with their desire and energy, and those able to assist financially,” Gerson said. “The foundation also provides start-up money for programs that it hopes will grow into self-sustaining efforts to serve our community.”
She adds, “No matter the size of the donation, we put it to work within our community. The funds raised through the annual drive helps the foundation help others.”
Donate at www.themadisonfoundation.org or through the mail to The Madison Foundation, P.O. Box 446, Madison, CT 06443. Contributions are tax-deductible.
This article originally appeared in The Source.