Local 4-H endowments encourage continued private and public investment
Michigan 4-H has expanded its philanthropic community among 4-H alumni, volunteers and families with the Make the Match County 4-H Endowment Campaign. This campaign was designed to engage and educate the Michigan 4-H family to increase their private support for 4-H.
We are pleased that 31 Michigan county 4-H programs said yes to the opportunity to participate in the Michigan 4-H Foundation’s county 4-H endowment match campaign. The 31 county 4-H endowment match campaign partners are: Allegan, Arenac, Branch, Calhoun, Chippewa, Clare, Clinton, Eaton, Grand Traverse, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Houghton-Keweenaw, Ingham, Ionia, Kalkaska, Kent, Lapeer, Lenawee, Macomb, Mason, Midland, Montcalm, Muskegon, Oakland, Osceola, Ottawa, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Joseph, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.
As of Dec. 31, 2016, these counties had raised a total of $897,286 from 1,579 donors.
“We believe the campaign has achieved the goal of helping to stem the threat to the future of 4-H, which has been increasingly challenged by declining public support,” said Cheryl Howell, Michigan 4-H Foundation executive director. “This campaign has served to build the private philanthropic culture and commitment among 4-H families, alumni, staff members and volunteers to ensure continued local and statewide support for Michigan 4-H programs.”
The $10,000 endowment minimum was met by 30 of the 31 participating county 4-H programs to be eligible for the match. Nineteen of the participating counties have met or exceeded their published local campaign goals. Additionally, nine counties raised $50,000 or more in local gifts: Gratiot, Kent, Lenawee, Montcalm, Osceola, Shiawassee, St. Joseph, Washtenaw and Ingham.
The Ingham County 4-H Make the Match Endowment Campaign was co-chaired by MSU Extension retirees Cynthia Mark and James Mulvany. Along with a small committee of current and past 4-H volunteers and staff members and in cooperation with the Ingham County 4-H Council, they were able to make the endowment a reality for Ingham County.
“We created a job description for the endowment committee so they knew what was expected of them,” Mark said. “We kicked off at the fair the summer of 2015. We met, had displays at the fair in the 4-H areas – mostly to raise awareness of the endowment and what it is.”
Mark explained that she and other committee members had to educate potential donors first so that there was a general understanding of what an endowment is as well as matching funds.
“We didn’t raise a lot of money at the first fair but it did get us thinking on what we should do next. We then sent a letter to buyers from the livestock sale,” she said.
The committee’s hard work paid off. The fund received some generous donations towards the endowment from the Ingham County 4-H Council and the Ingham County 4-H Livestock Committee, as well as local service club organizations, including the Mason Lions Club.
“I think the match made us focus on the endowment – it made us say ‘We can do this,’ and get involved. It gave us a chance to get it started because the Michigan 4-H Foundation provided support materials and the match.”
The endowment committee has continued to meet to plan next steps, such as upcoming events to thank donors and ways to continue to remind people that the endowment is a way to support 4-H locally.
“We think that this continues to build a legacy for the county. People can give and have their money used right away; however building this long-term fund gives a chance for continual funding for 4-H. That’s why I got involved,” Mark said.
The endowment’s investment earnings can provide general support for current 4-H program delivery, purchase or development of new program and learning materials, support for 4-H youth out-of-county experiences and participation fees or any future areas of great need to advance the county 4-H program.
“I appreciate all the support from the foundation, county and donors that gave. We had 120 donors that included individuals, clubs and businesses. It shows we have great support for 4-H in Ingham County,” Mark said.
The county 4-H endowment match pool was built by investments from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, the Seevers Family Foundation and a number of individual leadership donors. Together, these donors have contributed $805,702 toward the match pool.
Because county 4-H endowment totals have exceeded that amount, the match opportunity was suspended Dec. 31, 2016. To complete the promise to match all qualifying dollars raised by county 4-H programs through Dec. 31, 2016, the foundation continues to seek funding to complete the $1 million match pool goal.
To be eligible for matching funds, the county 4-H endowment must have reached a minimum of $10,000, and at least half of the funds must have come from individuals and/or 4-H youth clubs. The maximum match for a single county was $50,000.
Although gifts are no longer eligible for a match from the foundation, counties are encouraged to continue to grow their 4-H endowment funds. All contributions can help both local county 4-H endowment campaigns and the Campaign for Michigan 4-H’s Future reach their goals.
Hillsdale County 4-H alumnus Arlon Elser and his wife, Shirley, a Branch County 4-H alumna, provided a capital campaign gift to help establish 4-H endowments in Branch and Hillsdale counties and to grow the Make the Match Campaign match fund.
Arlon serves as vice chair of Whitestone Keep, LLC, and is the former program director of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Because he is a W.K. Kellogg Foundation retiree, the Elsers’ initial gift qualified for an employer match of 1:2, thus tripling the impact of their charitable gift.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg, works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.
With the WKKF match, the Elsers’ gift helped to jump start county endowment campaigns in both Branch and Hillsdale counties.
General 4-H county endowment funds help provide annual support for 4-H program delivery, including scholarships for 4-H youth out-of-county experiences and participation fees, purchase of or development of new program and learning materials, or any future areas of great need to advance the county 4-H programs.
Because their gift funded general 4-H county endowment funds, their contribution will be matched again 1:1 by the Make the Match County 4-H Endowment match fund, thus doubling its impact for Branch and Hillsdale counties.
The Calhoun County 4-H Endowment Fund was established with an initial estate gift made to Calhoun County 4-H by Harold E. Thomas.
Thomas was an active Calhoun County 4-H volunteer who started the Legends of 4-H Award and was often seen helping at the Show of Champions. He would also help get people in line at both the Marshall Christmas Parade and the Calhoun County Fair Parade.
Thomas graduated from Marshall High School and served in the U.S. Army. He worked as a machine shop supervisor for the Grand Trunk Railroad for 41 years. An active member of Moose Lodge 676, he earned his degree of fellowship in 1972 and his pilgrim degree of merit in 2011.
Calhoun County 4-H is one of the 31 counties participating in the Make the Match County 4-H Endowment Campaign. Gifts to grow the Calhoun County 4-H Endowment Fund will have double the impact with the 1:1 match from the endowment match fund while match funds are available. Additional donations are welcomed to help grow the fund.
Estate gift helps Make the Match
Lana Dart leaves estate gift to 4-H
As an Ingham County 4-H alumna and former Calhoun County 4-H staff person, Lana Dart knew the impact that 4-H can have on young people’s lives. She made it her tradition to give to the Michigan 4-H Foundation each year since 1989.
Over the years, Dart gave to a variety of 4-H programs, including Kettunen Center renovations, the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens, the Michigan 4-H Legacy Fund and most recently, the County 4-H Endowment Match Pool and the Ingham County 4-H Endowment. The match pool provides a 1:1 match for gifts from 4-H clubs, volunteers, parents, members, staff members and friends to build county 4-H endowments.
Before Dart passed away last fall, she had made a planned gift for a portion of her estate to support the area of greatest need for 4-H. The Michigan 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees has allocated the gift to help match gifts to the Make the Match County 4-H Endowment Campaign to honor where Dart’s most recent gifts were given.
In an interview several years ago, Dart shared why she felt it was important to give back to 4-H.
“It’s a program that I think has value,” she said. “While I’m not an active participant in the program at this time, it goes back to the wonderful experiences that I had as a 4-H member. You remember you were in 4-H and the experiences that came along for you, and it triggers the thought of giving.
“I think you get into a pattern of giving,” she said. “Certain organizations are on your pattern of giving each year. It may not be the same amount, but it’s important that you give every year,” she said.
Dart, of Lansing, passed away on Nov. 30, 2017. She graduated from Mason High School and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University (MSU) where she was a member of the Mortar Board Honor Society. She began her career as an MSU Extension home economist and 4-H agent in Calhoun County. She was employed with MSU for 33 years before retiring in 1992. She was an elder, deacon and a clerk of the Session for Mason First Presbyterian Church. Dart also served as a board member of the Ingham County Fair. She was a member of the Lansing Women’s Club, and a member and officer of the Mason College Club.
Estate gifts, such as this gift from Dart, are considered a type of planned gift. Documenting and planning a future gift to support 4-H can leave a legacy for years to come. Planned gift donors are recognized as members of the A.G. Kettunen Society to provide lifetime recognition to donors who have made documented future gifts to 4-H. Documenting a planned gift allows donors to share their wishes and the impact they would like to see their gifts make to benefit Michigan’s youth. A.G. Kettunen Society members receive a recognition certificate, permanent acknowledgment as legacy donors in the annual report, and, for gifts that exceed $25,000 at maturity, recognition as Cornerstone Society members.
Any donor considering a planned gift may contact Amanda Masters, assistant development director for 4-H, at 517-884-4691 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to verify that your gift intent can be met.
Including matching gifts, over $2 million has been committed to support local 4-H endowment funds across the state, thanks to the Make the Match County 4-H Endowment Campaign.
Since 2013, 4-H programs in 31 counties have participated in local campaigns to create and grow local 4-H endowment funds. These investments will provide on-going support for 4-H program delivery in local communities for generations to come.
As a result of this effort, 22 of the 31 counties have met or exceeded their initial campaign goals. All of the counties met or exceeded the $10,000 endowment minimum, with 11 counties raising $50,000 or more.
Participating counties which have not yet met the $50,000 maximum for matching funds, can still receive a dollar-for-dollar match on eligible gifts through Dec. 31, 2018, on a first-come, first-served basis until match funds are depleted. Click here to view county 4-H endowment campaign totals by county.
Qualifying gifts to the participating county 4-H endowments were matched 1:1 by the Michigan 4-H Foundation, ultimately doubling donors’ gifts to grow local 4-H endowments. The match opportunity would not have been possible without investments from match pool donors to provide the matching funds. The match pool was built by contributions from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, the Seevers Family Foundation, the Lana Dart estate and several individual leadership gifts.
The Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation has made an additional commitment to provide match funds for the Michigan 4-H Foundation’s county endowment match campaign.
From supporting 4-H volunteer training and 4-H environmental education to funding multiple renovations to Kettunen Center including sponsorship of Cedar Lodge’s Rollin M. Gerstacker wing and furnishings – the Gerstacker Foundation has been a major supporter of Michigan 4-H since the 1980s.
“We’ve been involved for almost 40 years,” said Alan Ott, Gerstacker Foundation vice president and treasurer. “The Gerstacker Foundation does things that are good for the most amount of people. 4-H qualifies well.”
The Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation was founded by Mrs. Eda U. Gerstacker in 1957 in memory of her husband. Its primary purpose is to carry on, indefinitely, financial aid to charities of all types supported by Mr. and Mrs. Rollin M. Gerstacker during their lifetimes.
“Our purpose is to make Midland a better place to live. We have a large agricultural base and 4-H was ag-based back then. We’ve given almost a million dollars to 4-H.”
In addition to support through the Michigan 4-H Foundation, the Gerstacker Foundation supports 4-H locally in Midland County.
“I guess we just have a soft spot for 4-H,” Ott said. “I think 4-H contributes an awful lot more to Michigan than it is given credit for,” he said. “I wasn’t involved in 4-H, but I think it’s a good program, it builds character in kids.”
With the additional support from the Gerstacker Foundation and others, the Michigan 4-H Foundation has received commitments to complete the $1 million match pool. The county 4-H endowment match pool provides a 1:1 match for gifts from 4-H clubs, volunteers, parents, members, staff members and friends to build county 4-H endowments.
Since 2014, 4-H programs in 31 counties have participated in local campaigns to create and grow local 4-H endowment funds. These investments will provide on-going support for 4-H program delivery in local communities for generations to come. Learn more about the county 4-H endowment campaign.
The match opportunity would not have been possible without investments from match pool donors to provide the matching funds. In addition to the Gerstacker Foundation, the match pool was built by investments from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, the Seevers Family Foundation and a number of individual leadership donors.
Glenn and Cleo Williams have been married for 64 years and Shiawassee County 4-H has played a meaningful role in their lives both before they met and since they married.
In 2013, they honored the role of 4-H in their lives by making a significant gift of grain to the Michigan 4-H Foundation, that when it was sold, established the Shiawassee County 4-H Endowment Fund.
Glenn joined the Fairfield Township 4-H Club at age 10 and remained a member until he was 19. When he and Cleo were married, their wedding reception was hosted by that 4-H club. Cleo had been a 4-H member in Ingham County. Cleo became a volunteer leader of the Fairfield Sewers and Cookers 4-H Community Club, where she remained a volunteer for 23 years.
The couple’s four adult children were all 4-H members and raised on the family farm, a centennial farm started by Glenn’s grandfather 150 years ago. Originally a dairy farm, the farm is predominantly a cash crop farm producing corn, soybeans and wheat today. It was a gift of soybeans that funded the Shiawassee County 4-H Endowment Fund.
“When the administrator in Shiawassee County decided that MSU Extension could be cut, we went to rally to be there to support 4-H,” Glenn said. “It was Cleo’s idea that we do this gift.”
“I just wanted 4-H to continue,” Cleo said.
“4-H is a way to learn how to live life,” Glen added. “You learn responsibility, you have to keep records, you have to feed the animals when they need it, you have to work at something when you could just be lying around on the sofa!”
The recommendation for making their gift as a gift-in-kind using agricultural product came from MSU Extension educator Dennis Stein.
“Farmers produce a product and sometimes they have opportunity to share that product,” Stein said. “A charity can then sell that gift of product to benefit their charity. The time was right for the Williamses to make this gift.”
The Williamses’ gift for Shiawassee County will be doubled by the Michigan 4-H Foundation as part of the statewide county 4-H endowment match campaign. Young people in Shiawassee County will be supported for generations to come by this perpetual gift to support local 4-H programming. Donors interested in making a gift of grain should contact the Michigan 4-H Foundation and consult with their tax and financial advisers to determine if making such a gift makes sense for them.
Annual earnings from the fund’s investment can provide for scholarships for 4-H youth out-of-county experiences and participation fees; the purchase and development of new program and learning materials or any future areas of great need to advance the
Shiawassee County 4-H program.
County 4-H endowments near campaign goals in Clinton and Ionia counties
Since 2015, Homeworks Tri-County Electric Cooperative has partnered with Michigan 4-H as both a sponsor and host site for the 4-H Renewable Energy Camp. During this five-day camp, youth explore ideas, research and opportunities in the energy field as it relates to natural resources and agriculture. Homeworks has also been a longtime 4-H supporter at the local level.
This year, Homeworks provided $5,000 each to the Clinton and Ionia county 4-H endowment funds.
“HomeWorks has a large membership (consumer base) in Clinton and Ionia counties, and supporting 4-H in these counties supports our members that are involved in agriculture and their children that seek careers in agriculture,” said Mark Kappler, president and CEO of Homeworks.
A not-for-profit based in Portland, Michigan, Homeworks is a membership-owned utility serving 26,000 locations in 13 mid-Michigan counties with electricity, propane and internet.
“Roughly 60 percent of our electric sales are agriculturally based – crop farms, dairies, poultry, swine, food processing, etc.,” he said. “We believe that our rural youth are the future to Michigan’s agriculture and the safety of our food supply.”
The 4-H endowment funds in Clinton and Ionia counties will provide a perpetual source of funding for local 4-H programs for generations to come. Annual interest earnings from the county endowment funds can provide annual support for 4-H program delivery, including scholarships for 4-H youth for out-of-county learning experiences and participation fees, or development of new programs and learning materials, or any future areas of great need to advance the county 4-H program.
Eleven counties, including Clinton and Ionia, continue to fundraise toward their local goals for the 4-H county endowment match campaign. Clinton and Ionia counties are both in need of approximately $5,000 to meet their $50,000 goals. Gifts are welcome at any time to continue to grow any county 4-H endowment fund.
The $10,000 endowment minimum was met by all 31 counties participating in the county 4-H endowment campaign. Twenty of the participating counties have met or exceeded their local campaign goals, including nine counties that raised $50,000 or more in local gifts. Learn more about the county 4-H endowment campaign.
This year the Macomb County 4-H Youth Council joined the Make the Match County 4-H Endowment Campaign as a leading contributor and established the Macomb County 4-H Endowment Fund.
The Macomb County 4-H Youth Council is made up of five teens representing the youth voice of 4-H in Macomb County.
“In 2013, five youth came together to become the first youth council in Macomb County. We figured that 4-H is a youth-led organization, so we should have our youth leading the decision making,” said Maggie Bohm, Macomb County 4-H Youth Council president and Macomb County 4-H’er.
“The first year, we focused on giving out scholarships for 4-H Exploration Days and running fundraisers at fair. This year, we had more of a base, so we offered a few more workshops and
revamped our fundraisers,” she said. In previous years, the Macomb County 4-H Youth Council raised money through the annual livestock sale, photo booths and a petting farm held at the county fair.
“Our previous fundraiser was a photo booth with hay bales and a cute country setting, and people would donate money for us to take their photograph. Because of cell phones, though, it wasn’t working out that great, so we started brainstorming new ideas,” Bohm said.
“We noticed the midway and how the vendors don’t open until noon, but most of the 4-H’ers are up and ready at 9 a.m. We thought about how we could meet the exhibitors’ and parents’ needs with a coffee cart full of fruit, coffee and other snacks,” she said.
The coffee cart was one of the successful fund-raising ventures that made the endowment donation possible. Additionally, the youth council decided to use saved money more wisely.
“We had quite a large chunk of money saved up from when the leadership association was running the feeding farm. It was sitting in the bank, not even earning interest, so we decided to put it to better use with the endowment fund,” Bohm said.
“I think the endowment is so important because it’s helping us think about our future. We don’t know what’s happening with government funding and if it’s going to be around for much longer. By setting this money aside, we’re hoping that the interest alone will be able to support 4-H and keep things running,” she said. “That’s the biggest reason we decided to do it.”
Annual earnings from the endowment fund’s investment can provide annual support for current 4-H program delivery, including scholarships for 4-H participation fees and youth to attend out-ofcounty learning experiences, the development of new programs and learning materials, or any future areas of great need to advance the county 4-H program.
“The endowment is a huge opportunity to have a large amount of money matched,” said Liz Duran, Macomb County MSU Extension 4-H program coordinator. “I brought up the idea of donating to the endowment. The youth council decided together by votes that this would be a wonderful opportunity to secure the financial future of 4-H in Macomb County,” she said.
“I trust in [the foundation’s] decision-making skills to successfully make a profit. We figured out what we spent last year and looked at the interest of the campaign, and it more than covers what we spent in a year programming,” Duran said. “We know that you can’t continue to spend without a source of income. At this point in Macomb County 4-H, the interest from the endowment alone will keep us sustainable,” she said.
“I like to see the kids understand how the endowment works and let them see why it was such a wise decision to invest in,” she added.
“There is no other program like 4-H in the world in terms of youth development. I believe in all higher education and all youth development programs, but now that I’ve worked with 4-H for so long, I clearly see the difference,” she said. “The youth are our future, and it’s important that we provide them with lots of support and opportunity.”
Macomb County is one of 31 counties participating in the Make the Match County 4-H Endowment campaign. Through October 2016, participating counties had received commitments totaling $798,179. (See map for the breakdown by county.) The Make the Match campaign officially launched July 1, 2013, with the benefit of an endowment match pool contributed by gifts from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation and individual leadership donors totaling nearly $800,000.
County totals have nearly exceeded that amount. Qualifying county 4-H endowment gifts will be matched until Dec. 31, 2016. The matching funds will be suspended thereafter, unless additional match pool funds are received. The Michigan 4-H Foundation continues to seek funding to grow the match pool to $1 million.
Michigan 4-H Foundation launches county 4-H endowment match campaign
County 4-H programs in Michigan have historically been funded by a partnership between federal, state and county governments, Michigan State University and gifts from private supporters. With increasing reductions in public support, 4-H families, volunteers, clubs, alumni and other friends are coming together to build private support to sustain 4-H in local communities.
Supporters of county 4-H programs can double their personal support for 4-H by donating to the Make the Match Campaign for their county 4-H program. The goal is to raise $1 million in endowment for county 4-H programs in Michigan that will in turn be doubled by a match fund.
The Make the Match Campaign match fund is made possible by grants from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation and individual leadership gifts from Gary and Eiko Seevers and the Seevers Family Foundation, Donald and Rebecca Jost, Dale and Sally Stuby, Noel and Sandra Clarkson Stuckman, Larry and Julie Chapin, and Lowell and Marilyn Rothert.
Several counties have set goals of raising a minimum of $10,000 locally, which, if successful, will qualify the county 4-H program to receive a 1:1 match from the Michigan 4-H Foundation of every dollar raised to build an endowment to support their county’s 4-H programs.
An endowment is a fund that is permanently restricted. The corpus of the fund is invested and held intact, and the earnings from the fund are used for program support. Professional managers oversee endowment funds, investing the money in stocks, bonds, and other instruments.
Annual earnings from the fund’s investment can provide annual support for current 4-H program delivery, including scholarships for 4-H youth out-of-county experiences and participation fees; purchase of or development of new program and learning materials, or any future areas of great need to advance the county 4-H program.
Counties currently participating in the match campaign to build new endowments are Chippewa, Eaton, Luce, Mason and Midland.
Counties that already have general endowed funds with the Michigan 4-H Foundation can also use the match campaign to grow existing endowed funds. Clare and Houghton/Keweenaw counties are taking advantage of this opportunity. Both counties established 4-H endowment funds in 2007 and 2008, respectively, and have launched local campaigns to continue to grow their current endowments to make a larger investment for the future.
Kalkaska County also plans to grow the Kalkaska 4-H Youth Development Fund through this match campaign. Their endowment was created in 1987 by the Kalkaska County 4-H Leaders Association with proceeds from a real estate donation from Paul Johnson.
Kent, Osceola and Shiawassee counties have already met the maximum match and will also be receiving match funds.
The match pool has also grown from gifts from Lana Dart, Wayne and Faye Adam, James Mulvany, and W. Conard and Mary Search.