MORRIS – The Community Foundation of Grundy County has received gifts of real estate in the past, but would usually sell them quickly to put the cash to work.
That changed when in 2013 when Peg Davis of Seneca died.
Among her estate was a farm with parcels in Norman and Wauponsee townships that she wanted to be kept as a working farm. For several years, while details were worked out with the IRS, the farm produced and took in money.
Now, the foundation is beginning the Keep Grundy Growing LLC, a program to use agriculture for charitable giving.
“Anytime we accept farmland it’s going into this new LLC to keep our land assets separate from our farm assets,” said Julianne Buck, executive director of the Community Foundation of Grundy County.
Using the Davis farm as an example, the numbers over the past seven years show the farm generating about $25,000 a year that could be donated or used for grants.
The Peg Davis donation was directed to Seneca-area causes. The Seneca Food Pantry, Micro pantry, Morris Hospital Foundation Stop the Bleed campaign for Seneca High School and the village of Seneca for Crotty Park all received gifts this year.
It’s not only for farmland, however. Buck said that the foundation can also accept gifts of grain.
One acre of corn and one acre of soybeans donated can raise about $1,000 for charity, depending on yield and prices.
Buck said there is a lot of opportunity for charitable growth from local agriculture. Looking at the projected growth of the county, Buck said capturing 5% of it could lead to huge dividends for nonprofits in the area.
“Long story short, if we capture 5% of all the wealth in Grundy County, we’d have $8 million going out,” she said.
Those interested in learning more about agriculture donations can call Julianne Buck at the Community Foundation of Grundy County at 815-941-0852 or email her at email@example.com.