In 2017, a need to assist local charitable organizations was noticed, so locals teamed together to establish the Franklin County Community Fund (FCCF), an extension of the Blue Grass Community Foundation.

FCCF provides an opportunity to think ahead to the needs and positive growth of the community. The fund serves as a permanent endowment, which provides funding for charitable organizations that make Frankfort/Franklin County a better place to live, learn, work and play.

Harry Carver, chairman for Franklin County Community Fund, and Jane Higgins, director of community advancement at the Bluegrass Community Foundation. (Photo by Hannah Brown)

“Contributions to the fund ensure that Frankfort/Franklin County will have a permanent financial foundation for future philanthropy,” according to a press release. “The fund is controlled by a local community board that does their best to leverage the assets to best benefit the community.”

Local organizations to benefit from the fund include The Kings Center, Franklin County Council on Aging, Franklin County Humane Society, Mission Frankfort Clinic/Rotary Challenge, Imagination Library of Frankfort, Give Me Shelter/CARES Coalition, FAST Track Club-Sneakers, Voices from the Balcony/Grand Theatre, Noise for Jordan/Jordon C. Ellis Fund for Arts and Healing, Woods & Water Land Trust and the Wanda Joyce Robinson Foundation.

“FCCF raised nearly $40,000 during COVID to assist our local non-profits that were stretched to capacity during the height of the pandemic,” Chairman of FCCF Harry Carver said.

Learn more about FCCF from Carver in the interview below:

FRANK.: Why do you feel it is important for FCCF to exist?

Carver: FCCF was established to fill a void here in Frankfort and Franklin County. Here we were the Capital City with no community foundation. Why is this important? A community fund, which is a permanent endowment, will forever provide resources to address our community’s needs. We know that funding from federal, state and local governments is not without limits. A community endowment can fund the needs that will improve the quality of life in Frankfort and Franklin County now and for generations to come.

FRANK.: What is the future of the fund? How do you hope it affects generations to come?

Carver: The fund is forever — donations are invested in perpetuity, and it is only the earnings from the fund that are made available for grantmaking. As the endowment grows, so does the amount of money that is available to make grants to local nonprofits. The greater the fund, the greater the impact on the community.

A Transfer of Wealth Study, done by the Kentucky Philanthropy Initiative, showed that if folks in Franklin County would leave 5% of their estate (no matter how large or small) over a 10 year period to the community fund, the result would be $60.8 million. While this is a somewhat ambitious goal, the results are staggering. An endowment of this size would generate $3 million annually in grants.

FRANK.: Why is it important for you to be involved with the Franklin County Community Fund?

Carver: A community is not successful without folks willing to give of their time (and money.) The fund has the capacity to be a driving force for good in our community, and it is gratifying to be a part of building it.

FRANK.: What do you say to encourage people to donate to the fund?

Carver: Folks in our community are generous. But I like to ask, who is going to be writing those checks when you are gone? It is a way to keep giving to your community forever.

While the fund has grown since its start, it is legacy gifts that really can make it grow. George Russell’s inclusion of the fund in his estate planning resulted in our first legacy gift, making a huge difference in the fund’s balance.