Donors Establish Four New Funds at the CFNRV

At the Community Foundation of the New River Valley (CFNRV), our goal is to make giving easy and joyful for donors. Our team makes it our mission to understand the priorities and needs in the New River Valley, so we can help donors support our community in ways that align with their philanthropic interests – both now and for generations.

When donors choose to set up an endowed fund with the CFNRV, they are choosing to make an impact on the NRV in perpetuity. We offer several types of funds to help meet donors’ interests; the four main types of funds are scholarships, field of interest, agency, and donor advised (more details on each of these below.) Every fund has a monetary threshold that needs to be reached to become endowed (either $10,000 or $15,000, depending on the fund type.)

Once the fund reaches its endowment level, it is invested, and the interest spun off from the endowment is used to fund grants or scholarships. Then, the donor can continue to grow their fund by adding to the endowment to help it grow long-term, as can anyone else who is interested in the fund.

Currently, the foundation’s assets include more than 200 funds that total $15 million. Each year, we add new funds. Some funds are endowed immediately with founding gifts by donors, but others start with smaller founding gifts, and we work with donors over a period of three years to reach the endowment threshold. This fall, we are pleased to share four newly created endowed funds – each with a different purpose, but all created with the goal of helping nonprofits and students in the New River Valley.


Scholarship Fund Created from a Private Foundation

The Morrow-Stevens Foundation Endowment was created from a private foundation converting to a fund with the CFNRV. This transfers the administrative work of managing a foundation from the donors to the CFNRV, allowing the donors to focus on giving. This fund will provide scholarships to deserving and dedicated students pursuing a college education at a four year public college or university in Virginia.

Eligible students must reside in Virginia school district regions 6, 7, and 8. Selection criteria shall include documented financial need and a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. This scholarship is renewable for the duration of the student’s undergraduate career provided the student maintains academic performance sufficient to remain in and progress through their undergraduate major within four academic years.

Above: 2023 scholarship recipients gather at the CFNRV’s annual scholarship luncheon.

All scholarship funds at the CFNRV support students pursuing higher education at a variety of trade or technical schools, colleges, or universities based on criteria established by the donor. We currently have 57 scholarship funds, representing 21% of foundation assets. In 2023, we awarded a total of $155,641 to 92 students. Scholarship funds reach endowment at $15,000. All other funds are endowed at the $10,000 level.


Field of Interest Fund Honors Life of Peer Segelke

The Peer Segelke Memorial Fund was established in Peer’s memory by his wife Jennifer Jen and other family members. Field-of-interest funds support particular interest areas, specific program initiatives, causes, or geographic areas as established by the donor.

This fund honors one of Peer’s interests (environmental sustainability and natural resource conservation) and will award annual grants in support of NRV nonprofits focused on these areas. Specifically, the fund will award an incentive grant to a nonprofit  working in the area of sustainability that is actively participating in the CFNRV’s annual online GiveLocalNRV giving day. Establishing this fund in Peer’s memory is one tangible way his family can honor his legacy.

The CFNRV has 25 field of interest funds. In 2022, these funds awarded a total of $93,576 and made up 17% of the foundation assets.


Agency Funds Will Provide Consistent Support for Two Nonprofits

Above: a honeybee at Spikenard Farm enjoys one of the many plants at the sanctuary.

We added two agency funds this fall – one that will benefit Spikenard Farm and one that will benefit the CFNRV. Designated or agency funds support specific agencies identified by the donor. Many organizations also establish endowed funds with the CFNRV to provide a long-term source of funding that meets their unique missions. These types of funds make up 13% of the foundation’s assets, with $39,444 awarded in 2022. We now have a total of 43 agency funds.

The Spikenard Farm Inc. Endowment was established by Andy and Bonnie Huggins. The purpose of the fund is to provide grants to the Floyd-based Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary to provide ongoing support for its programs and operations. Spikenard is a honeybee sanctuary dedicated to supporting pollinators and their critical role in our ecosystem while sharing best practices and techniques with other beekeepers and environmentalists.

Above: Pat Hyer (left) poses with Andi Golusky of NRV CARES at the CFNRV’s annual grantee reception. In addition to serving as our board president, Pat is also a generous donor to our work.

The CFNRV’s Board President, Pat Hyer, established the Higher Impact Fund to provide support for the CFNRV’s programs and operations. This is the fifth donor-established fund created to support the CFNRV’s work. These funds help fuel our team’s work and provide the CFNRV with reliable streams of income each year.  


Additional Way to Give: Setting Up a Donor Advised Fund

Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) are established by donors who wish to actively participate in the grantmaking process by recommending charitable projects or organizations to support with their grant dollars. Many of these donors (but not all) participate in the Responsive Grant process, which awards operating support up to $4,000 to nonprofits who submit applications each July. Of the 86 funds in this category, 22 support general charitable purposes throughout the region.

While there are no new DAFs as of this fall, these funds make up a significant amount of foundation assets (48%.) These funds awarded a total of $265,666 in 2022. At our annual Celebration of Giving event in September, we honored the work of one of our most active donor advised funds, the Endowment for Giles County (often referred to as the Giles Fund.) Established in 2007, members of this fund support nonprofit work across Giles County. In the 16+ years since this fund began, 375 donors have contributed to the growth of the fund, giving out nearly 200 grants to 52 organizations.

The Giles fund exemplifies the power of what we can do as a community when we pool our time, resources, and care toward supporting the great work of our region’s nonprofits. If you are interested in learning more about or contributing to any of these funds, or starting a fund, please reach out to our team at cfnrv@cfnrv.org or 540-381-8999. Donations can also be made online at cfnrv.org/give.

Above: members of the Giles Fund gather at the CFNRV’s Celebration of Giving event. Photo by Wilsie Photography.

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