Williamsburg Community Foundation Launches Four-Year Fundraising Initiative

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A logo highlighting each of the six new funds that make up Williamsburg Community Foundation's general endowment. (Courtesy Williamsburg Community Foundation)
A logo highlighting each of the six new funds that make up Williamsburg Community Foundation’s general endowment. (Courtesy Williamsburg Community Foundation)

The Williamsburg Community Foundation unveiled a major new fundraising initiative at its spring awards luncheon Wednesday that is aimed at significantly increasing donations over the next four years.

VISION 2020 is a multi-pronged new campaign that will culminate in the year 2020 to coincide with Williamsburg Community Foundation’s 20th anniversary celebration.

Former Williamsburg Community Foundation board chairwoman Margaret Beck Pritchard and her father Bobby Beck are at the helm of the initiative, and Pritchard took to the podium after the grant awards portion of the luncheon to introduce VISION 2020 to a room of longtime Foundation supporters.

The new campaign divides the Foundation’s community endowment into six separate funds, and donors at any level will be asked to specify into which fund their contribution should be directed. The goal of the new system is to allow donors to have greater control over which causes receive their money – a change the officials behind VISION 2020 hope will encourage people to ultimately give more to support their causes of choice.

“Gifts to these funds will directly support the causes you are most interested in supporting,” Pritchard said.

The new categories include arts and culture, children and young adults, health and community wellness, environment and conservation, senior services and scholarships for Williamsburg-James City County high school students.

In addition to encouraging more donors to give by allowing them greater input in how their money is spent, VISION 2020 also offers the added incentive of a matching donation for each contribution, which has been made possible by the bequest of John Jamison, a founding member of Williamsburg Community Foundation.

All gifts made to one of the six funds over the next four years will be matched one-to-one with money from Jamison’s bequest, allowing each contribution to have an even greater effect on the donor’s designated fund of choice.

By offering these new incentives to donate, members of the Williamsburg Community Foundation are hopeful the organization will be better able to meet the growing and changing needs of Historic Triangle.

This initiative comes about as a response to Foundation members’ desires to do a better job of keeping up with growing demand for services in the area, which many of the nonprofits that the Foundation supports are struggling to keep up with.

A pamphlet on VISION 2020 distributed at the luncheon explained that for the past several years the Williamsburg Community Foundation has been consistently able to fund only 35 percent of the grant amounts requested annually, despite increases in donations, because needs have increased along with grant dollars.

In addition to the newly restructured community endowment, VISION 2020 also aims to increase its endowments by encouraging legacy giving and educating the community more about the needs and missions of the various nonprofits that Williamsburg Community Foundation serves.

All gifts, whether made through the community endowment funds or through one of Williamsburg Community Foundations other giving avenues like a named fund, a donor-endowed fund or the WCF annual fund, will count as part of the total dollars raised through the VISION 2020 initiative.

“Thank you all for being a part of the Williamsburg Community Foundation Family,” Pritchard said at the conclusion of her remarks launching VISION 2020. “We are so grateful to all of you for your support and looking forward to our continued work for the Williamsburg community.”