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May 29, 2009

New Community Foundation Structure Will Serve Southeastern Illinois Communities

Effingham County Community Foundation and Mattoon Area Community Foundation have forged an alliance that will extend philanthropic opportunities for the betterment of Southeastern Illinois. The resulting organization, Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation, will provide administrative and technical assistance to the local partnering community foundations (initially Effingham County Community Foundation and Mattoon Area Community Foundation).

Joedy Hightower, President/CEO of the Foundation, said, “Across the country, these community foundation partnerships have proven to be an effective way for communities to support local charities without taking on the cost and administrative burden of managing an endowment. The partner foundations retain their own identities but have access to the professional staff, fund management and investment expertise of the umbrella foundation. This results in reduced administrative expenses for the local foundations.”

Paul Saegesser, Chairman of the Board of Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation explained, “Both Effingham County Community Foundation and Mattoon Area Community Foundation will maintain their current boards of directors. Members of these boards will represent their counties on the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation board. The Effingham County and Mattoon Area foundation boards remain accountable to the communities they serve.”

Hightower added that the new structure will reduce expenses for the local partners and will result in a wider recognition of their philanthropic efforts. It also will assist in identifying local community needs and in developing solutions for these needs that can be implemented on the local level.

“All fundraising will continue to be conducted locally,” Saegesser said. “All grants will benefit the community represented by the local community foundation. It’s important for our donors to know that their charitable dollars will continue to be used as they have designated within their local communities.”

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