Bauers-Wall Foundation Transitions to the CFNRV

Kamala Bauers and Jack Wall are well known in Floyd County. Their business ventures – the Hotel Floyd, the Floyd EcoVillage, and the 100% employee-owned Wall Residences, have been fixtures in the county for many years. But they are just as admired for their work with multiple nonprofit organizations, both as volunteers and as financial supporters. They created the Bauers-Wall Foundation – a private, family foundation – about nine years ago as a way to support Floyd nonprofits and to instill in their adult children the importance of giving back to the community.  “We began our business interests in Floyd County and have benefited from all Floyd County has to offer – we are blessed by the beauty of the place and its people.  We are highly committed to Floyd County and wish for the community to benefit from these funds, long after we’re gone.” 

The Bauers-Wall Foundation supports the mission of several Floyd County nonprofits working in areas such as education, food access, and community development. While the family believes deeply in the work of all the agencies they support, they are particularly proud of their impact through The Partnership for Floyd. “This organization is supported by a small group of committed members who are really making a difference on a shoestring budget.  This organization has been responsible for applying for historical designation for a portion of the town of Floyd, assisting with a CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) application, writing a planning grant for new sidewalks, building a community stage at the town park, and building several trails. The existence of this organization, which quietly gets a lot done, has changed the quality of life for the residents of Floyd County and many don’t even know it exists! The Bauers-Wall Foundation has made a small grant to this effective organization annually.”

Jack, Kamala, and their children have enjoyed seeing the direct impact of their giving, but completing all of the compliance paperwork to maintain their family foundation proved cumbersome and took focus away from their mission. Kamala was familiar with the Community Foundation from her early days with Head Start, “I first learned of the CFNRV through Andy Morikawa (Executive Director of the CFNRV from 1997-2010).  I was a family service worker for Head Start when Andy was then the Director of New River Community Action – I watched his career fairly closely, as he is an inspiring person. I also had the opportunity to apply for CFNRV grants along the way in various roles as a volunteer with non-profits.” As Kamala transitioned in her career, she continued to follow the Foundation’s development and benefitted from its programs for nonprofit leaders, “The education to the non-profit community through the CFNRV is phenomenal, and I personally learned how to write grants, and how to be a more effective board member through the education provided.”

Based on these experiences, Jack and Kamala approached the staff in early 2021 about transitioning the Bauers-Wall Foundation to a donor-advised fund managed by the CFNRV. The model includes many of the benefits of a private foundation without the hassle of annual reporting or compliance with complex regulations. The family can continue to support their favorite Floyd County nonprofits by recommending the specific organizations and projects they would like to fund while turning the administrative burden over to the CFNRV. They dissolved their family foundation this spring, and look forward to working in partnership with the CFNRV to continue their giving in a decidedly less stressful way. “We decided to ask the CFNRV to manage these funds, ultimately, to alleviate the stress of making sure all compliance documents were completed timely, while still completing the mission.  After having done this both ways, we would recommend the Community Foundation route.  The Community Foundation has knowledgeable, and trustworthy, ethical staff – we trust that CFNRV will be in existence far into the future.”

For more information on donor-advised funds and/or transitioning a private family foundation, contact the CFNRV staff at 540-381-8999 or email cfnrv@cfnrv.org.