Warrender Challenge

December 2020

Dear Legacy Family,

Most years writing an end of the year appeal for your continued support is effortless. The message often paints a picture evoking sentiment around a broad, but important, community message. This year feels different. The adverse impacts of the global pandemic have made it so. Communicating some of our challenges, speaking to a little of the glaringly apparent gaps in our safety net, and celebrating a few of our wins is what feels right. I hope you will listen with your head and your heart as I share with you my reflections on recent events and hope for the future.

Addressing the challenges of 2020 has afforded Legacy Foundation with many "doing good" opportunities to actively support our community. Your gifts have been at work providing everything from scholarships to teacher mini grants and COVID-19 Pandemic crisis Relief - Recovery - Resilience. Your staff has convened nonprofit organizations to facilitate solutions for our community and assisted Cowley County in leveraging CARES Act funding.

Attending to the safety net gaps, the other day Legacy answered the call of a young woman looking for help. She was staying at a local hotel after hiding in the streets of our town, a victim of domestic violence. She reached out for help, but was desperate for a returned call. Because Legacy supports and works with amazing agencies in our community, we were able to connect her with someone who would listen carefully, provide food and assistance and, ultimately, help her to reach safety out of state.

We regularly receive calls at Legacy from individuals asking if we help people. The answer is “Yes.” But the answer is not “Yes” in the way the caller is asking. Legacy works with area nonprofit organizations by providing funding, shoring up leadership and connecting work to optimize community efforts. Legacy is here to make sure our safety net is strong and growing stronger. Legacy fills gaps and seizes opportunities.

Following are a few of our wins…

  • Legacy awarded over $126,000 in scholarships for the 2020 2021 school year assisting over 75 area students in pursuing higher education.

  • Legacy designated $12,500 ($2,500 per USD) to assist with COVID-19 related costs in our public school districts.

  • Legacy led the Rally Cowley Relief effort with the Winfield and Arkansas City Area Chambers of Commerce matching dollar for dollar the gift cards purchased through their Giftfly program providing $20,000 in grants supporting area food distributions.

  • Legacy hosted Match Monday leveraging matching funds of $15,000 into raising over $34,000 in additional gifts to support twenty-one local nonprofit organizations. The total of nearly $50,000 was invested in growing their endowment funds for long-term sustainability, as well as providing immediate operating grants in this challenging environment.

  • Legacy gathered important resources and information to share with area nonprofit organizations and the community at large impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

  • Legacy achieved the GuideStar Platinum Level of Transparency in 2020. GuideStar's database of over 2.2 million IRS-recognized nonprofits is the most complete, up-to-date nonprofit data available. Platinum Level is the highest level.

Your handprints continue to be all over Cowley County and the surrounding area. None of this would have been possible without the donor funds, leadership, capacity building, and connections that Legacy has fostered for over twenty years. Legacy's leadership has enacted a strategic action plan with measurable goals to ensure the Foundation is here for the community in the decades to come.

Looking to the future, Legacy’s strategic action plan is driving toward three outcomes:

1. An all-donor strategy that results in increased number of donors that are more knowledgeable, connected and engaged. Donors that give a one-time gift, take advantage of our monthly giving options, establish a fund or include Legacy in their estate planning are all valuable to growing philanthropy in our community and welcome in the stewardship plan as part of our Legacy Family.

2. Measurably growing assets for operational sustainability, as well as greater unrestricted funds for unmet needs and impact investing. Through growing the number and size of endowment funds, Legacy endeavors to reach $14 million in assets by 2024, so the annual operating base is underwritten and unrestricted funds are available for proactive grantmaking and addressing unforeseen challenges like local responses to a global pandemic.

3. Transforming philanthropic and nonprofit spaces supporting adaptive work improving our community. This ongoing work includes the implementation of a learning lab where a cohort of local nonprofit organizations work together to take action toward improving their capacity for effectively acquiring and managing resources.

Now we need your support.

Robert Warrender Revocable Trust (RWRT) Trustee Wayne Hamilton has offered a matching grant opportunity. If Legacy raises $100,000 for its operating endowment by 12/31/2020 then RWRT will give $50,000 for the same purpose.

We are excited for this opportunity because growing assets and unrestricted funds will underwrite core programming, allowing Legacy to increase assets available for community grants and scholarships. To support this growing opportunity, the board of directors has launched the Keep 5 At Home initiative.

Will you give a gift? We would love to talk to you about ways you may choose to support this effort. Will you send a donation or contact us today?

We are privileged to be a part of this extremely challenging, but meaningful, work. Working alongside our donors, volunteers and leadership makes it an easy decision to show up each day. We are grateful for people like you who are driven by the desire for things like:

  • A community to be safe…where everyone has food security, appropriate weather-tight and vermin-free housing, employment opportunity, and refuge from violence

  • A community to be healthy…inviting places for active living and social interactions

  • A community to be happy…the most elusive, but fueled by the arts, libraries and opportunities for recreation

  • Collaborating with other people and organizations to solve big challenges

  • Doing good, and doing it well

Thank you for inspiring us every day, and for your commitment to continue getting better at doing good for the benefit of our Cowley County and the surrounding area. It is with great gratitude that we count you as part of the Legacy Family. Your gifts are making a difference right here at home every day! You are indeed a Good Deed Doer!