What Butler County Community Foundations Do For Residents


The foundation now holds $ 133 million in assets.

“A lot of these funds have a purpose, so it’s not that we can use them for anything other than what the purpose is,” Braswell said. “We have unrestricted funds that have been left with the foundation to meet the needs of the community. “

The Hamilton Foundation charges a 1% fee to manage the various funds. These organizations typically charge between 0.5% and 2%, depending on the size of the fund and its purpose.

“I think it was very visionary of people back then to think, ‘Well, this town is booming now, in the 50’s, 60’s, with all these businesses in town,’ and Looking ahead, there are going to be needs in this community that the Hamilton Community Foundation can meet, ”Braswell said.

The foundation helped spark the surge in Hamilton’s economic development, which is happening in large part because of the $ 165 million Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill under construction, which will be the largest indoor sports complex in the country in terms of feet. squares. Businesses are opening to serve the more than 10,000 people who are expected to visit the city on certain weekends.

The community foundation has pledged $ 13 million of its investment assets to help Spooky Nook secure a loan. These fixed income securities remain the property of the foundation but secure the loan while the foundation continues to earn interest on them.

“It’s great fun to watch everything grow and prosper in our community,” Braswell said. “We’re really lucky to be able to be here, to make this all happen. “

Traci Barnett, executive director of the Middletown Foundation, said the foundations “connect people who care about the causes that matter”.

“A lot of people who create funds may know where they want to donate the money, but they can’t,” Barnett said. “They can say, ‘I just want this to feel the most good. Tell me which organizations need it the most. “

Usually, foundations only spend interest on the donations they receive. But these interest expenses can add up. While the Middletown Foundation oversees $ 43 million, “In the many years between 1986 and 2021, we actually donated around $ 60 million,” said Barnett, who, along with Fairfield’s Linda Yarger, recently announced their retirement.

To exploreMiddletown Community Foundation CEO to retire after 3 years

The Greater Oxford Community Foundation, run by Betsy Hope, covers 144 square miles within the boundaries of the Talawanda School District and has $ 13 million in assets.

The foundation has seen overall growth over the past 18 months and has also been helped by its largest ever donation, $ 3.5 million from Dr. Kenneth Buerk, who left a bequest to preserve the lands and local agricultural resources.

“Donors come to us all the time and tell us what’s on their minds, and we help them structure a gift to do the most good in their own community, keeping the money local,” Hope said.

“One of the main advantages of community foundations is that we are here forever. This is because most donations increase over time through careful investment, with only benefits being given.

The Community Foundation of West Chester / Liberty, founded in 1999, already has $ 23 million in assets, only about half of which comes from the two communities, and the rest comes from places like Indian Hill, Montgomery and Mason, Loveland and Madeira.

“We specialize in working with financial advisors, CPAs and lawyers to create charitable funds,” said Erin Clemons, President and CEO.

In such a young community, there are many “first generation philanthropists,” who come from humble origins, she said.

While the money can come from elsewhere and go to national charities, the 0.5-1% fee helps the foundation and the community, she said. Several years ago, his foundation conducted a needs assessment to determine the needs of the community and focused on transportation, education (especially kindergarten to grade three) and workforce development. of work.

Here is a sample of projects supported by foundations:

  • Middletown started a program called READY several years ago! which raised $ 2.7 million to fund local organizations that support young children and their families in a variety of ways including nutrition, vocabulary improvement and parenting skills,
  • Hamilton’s Keeley Orthodontic Fund, which began in the 1960s, helps fund 75% of the cost of braces to straighten the teeth of needy children.
  • In July, West Chester / Liberty will give the Reach Out Lakota Food Bank $ 200,000 in endowment “so that they are there to serve the needs of the community forever,” Clemons said.
  • The Middletown Foundation started the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program, which provides free books each month to children from birth to 5 years old, and recently transferred it to the MidPointe library system, while continuing to support it financially.

Linda Yarger, president of the Fairfield Community Foundation, said her organization was started in 1999 by businessmen, some of whom had been part of the Hamilton Foundation, who each pledged $ 5,000 over five years. Today, assets stand at nearly $ 5 million.

For people with charities that they want to give for many years, “they can make sure that each year that particular charity receives X amount of dollars,” Yarger said. “What better way to leave this world? “

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library program has been managed for 12 years by the Middletown Community Foundation, and has been donated in recent years to the Middletown, Franklin and Springboro Public Libraries. From left to right: Cari Hillman, MidPointe Library; Ginger Bruggeman, member of the Women Enriching Lives committee; Fran Sack, member of the WEL committee; Allyson Doliboa, MidPointe Library; and Traci Barnett, Middletown Community Foundation. Not pictured: Elaine Garver, WEL Committee Member; Rita Kolp, member of the WEL committee; and Travis Bautz, MidPointe Library. PHOTO SUBMITTED

To exploreFairfield Community Foundation leader retires after driving growth

The Five Butler County Community Foundations

  • Hamilton Community Foundation. Founded in 1951. Total assets: $ 133 million. Serves the Greater Hamilton. Contact: 513-863-1717. Website: www.hamiltonfoundation.org.
  • Middletown Community Foundation. Started in 1976 as part of Centraide, but was inactive for about 10 years before becoming an independent entity in 1986. Total assets: over $ 43 million. Serves Middletown, Madison, Monroe, Franklin and Trenton. Contact: 513-424-7369. Website: www.mcfoundation.org.
  • Greater Oxford Community Foundation. Founded October 23, 1996. Total assets: $ 13 million. Serves the townships of Oxford and Riley, Hanover and Milford (the Talawanda School District area). Contact: 513-523-0623. Website: www.oxfordfdn.org.
  • Fairfield Community Foundation. Founded in 1999. Total Assets: Almost $ 5 million. Serving Fairfield and the Township of Fairfield. Contact: 513-829-6355. Website: fairfieldcommunityfoundation.org.
  • West Chester / Liberty Community Foundation. Founded in 1999. Total assets: $ 23 million. Serving the townships of West Chester and Liberty, but half of the assets are actually donated by people in neighboring areas, not necessarily to all local causes. Contact: 513-874-5450. Website: www.wclfoundation.org.

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