If you live or work in Eden Prairie, you can be thankful there was a generation of active and involved people that preceded you in the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. Those folks started many of the organizations that make Eden Prairie great today.
For example, they started the Lions Club in 1961, and the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce that same decade. In the 1970s came our great social-services organization, PROP, as well as civic groups including the Lioness Club, Rotary, and the Optimist Club.
By comparison, the Foundation was late to the dance: 1981.
All of these organizations continue today, making evident their “sustainability.” They have attracted enough support over the long term – in dollars and members – to perpetuate their ability to serve Eden Prairie. This includes having visionary community leaders figure out how to accumulate resources; how to use those resources wisely; how to plan for the future; and how to groom leaders to succeed them. Having watched Eden Prairie grow and evolve over nearly 40 years, I can tell you those are not easy tasks.
One of the ways the Foundation is increasing the odds that it will be here for generations to come is by building its “endowment fund.” For this type of fund, only the investment earnings are spent. The principle exists in perpetuity, like a rainy-day fund that is never tapped.
Right now the Foundation has an endowment, in hand and with pledges, of about half a million dollars. It would like to raise $2 million in total to ensure the Foundation’s sustainability. The earnings would pay a big share of annual operating costs and allow the Foundation to invest in its own infrastructure. Then, more of what’s raised day-to-day could go toward filling unmet community needs through granting programs.
Thus far, the Foundation has granted over $2 million dollars to programs that serve the Eden Prairie community, make it stronger, and create another type of sustainability. The endowment fund would ensure that even more of your donated funds could continue to make a positive impact for years to come.
A good nonprofit is always working on sustainability, so even when the Foundation has built its endowment, the good work will continue – to gain additional financial support, certainly, but also to fine-tune leadership succession, strategic planning, and more. None of this would be possible without our dedicated donors who are serving the community where it is needed the most. You are what makes our goal of sustainability possible. You are – much like the leaders from the past—leaving a legacy of strong organizations that make Eden Prairie a great place to live for future generations.
(Would you like to help the Foundation build its endowment fund? Contact its executive director, Mark Weber, at 952-949-8499 or [email protected] to find out how to make it happen.)