Community funds, also known as unrestricted funds, are different than every type of fund we’ve talked about so far. Unlike other funds we’ve discussed, when donors establish community funds, they allow the Board of Directors the opportunity to assess the greatest needs of the community and assist the community’s individual programs. The Board of Directors, therefore, chooses how this money is spent each year based on community need.
Community funds allow for the greatest flexibility when donating charitable gifts. These funds will continue to benefit the community forever, so in 100 years from now, whatever the charitable needs may be in Starke County, our community funds will be there to support them.
One of our earliest community funds, the Schuyler Family Endowment Fund, was established in 1998 by SCCF founder Arlowa Vorm. Arlowa was a part of the athletically and musically talented Schuyler family. Arlowa’s mother was born in North Judson, and her father moved there when he was very young. They were married in 1917 and had a 200-acre farm in North Judson.
After Arlowa passed away, her husband, Fred Vorm, created another community fund, the Arlowa S. Vorm Memorial Fund in her memory. Arlowa and Fred grew up together in North Judson and were married in 1947 on Arlowa’s birthday. They were married for an incredible 56 years! Arlowa was community-minded and is remembered for her passion for service. She was a founding member of the SCCF and helped to establish both the North Judson Town Park and Norwayne Field.
The Schuyler Family. Arlowa (Schuyler) Vorm is the middle girl in the back row.
Another early SCCF community fund is the Ann R. and Orville Nichols Memorial Fund. It was created by Orville in memory of Ann, and it provides support to Starke County through the SCCF unrestricted fund. Due to its flexibility of giving, it has awarded grants to many different charitable organizations and programs, such as Shakespeare for Starke County Schools, Community Services of Starke County, the Starke County Youth Club, Inc., and the Salvation Army.
While there are many early community funds, the SCCF also has many new ones, such as the Gail and Mildred Schoch Memorial Fund, which was created in 2014 by Warren and Sherry Burch. Since 2014, there have been 13 new community funds established with the SCCF!
Community funds are appealing to donors because they offer so much flexibility of giving. While we may not know the future needs of Starke County, we can be sure that our community funds will always be there to address those needs.
Next week’s article will finish up our discussion about different types of funds, and then we will move on to our final two articles in the series!