Wamego Community Foundation
Wamego Community Foundation
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Phone: (785) 477-3277
Email: wcf@thewcf.org
To Inspire Giving and Philanthropy in a Caring Community

WCF Foundation Governance 

Wamego Foundation-Manhattan Foundation Affiliate Relationship

The Wamego Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation was incorporated in 1998 by a group of public spirited Wamego citizens.  Their stated purpose in forming WCF was to create a community organization focused exclusively on addressing and serving the charitable and philanthropic needs of Wamego and the surrounding area, with the stated goal of contributing to the betterment of life for Wamego and its citizens.  Accordingly, the Wamego Foundation also applied for and was accorded non-profit recognition and status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and pursuant to a ruling letter issued by the Internal Revenue Service, Department of the Treasury in October 1998.  Over the years since its inception, WCF has focused on interacting with various entities throughout the Wamego Community in the performance of its ongoing mission to build strategic, ongoing relationships between charitable donors and community needs which are represented by numerous and diverse community sectors.  Through its various outreach activities and programs, WCF actively pursues its core vision of charitable and philanthropic service to Wamego and its citizens with accountability, integrity, quality, dignity and transparency.

WCF and eight other community foundations in the surrounding area are presently affiliated with the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation.  WCF first became affiliated with GMCF in 2016 as the result of the recognition by WCF that this affiliation would result in significant annual savings in administrative costs to WCF, as well as providing the opportunity for WCF to realize a significant enhancement in income earned on the investment of WCF assets.  This affiliation also provides WCF with access to significant and diverse professional staff support from the Manhattan Foundation, as well as expanded opportunities for additional marketing support and program development which would not otherwise be available to WCF in the absence of its GMCF affiliation.  

The enhancement in investment return on WCF assets has been achieved through the pooling of the investment of WCF assets with investments of the assets held by and for both GMCF and the other affiliated community foundations.  The amount of these combined assets held by GMCF was in excess of $79,000,000 as of October, 2018.  Approximately $30,000,000 of these assets are in the form of stock in a private company, the dividends and appreciation in value of which inure to the benefit of GMCF and are available for GMCF activities and programs.  The remaining assets held by GMCF, having an approximate valuation in excess of $49,000,000, are invested under the guidance and direction of The Trust Company of Manhattan, which, among other specialties, provides professional investment management and advisory services.   These invested assets had a significant investment return in excess of 14.00% during calendar year 2017, which is viewed as supporting and providing justification for WCF’s decision to affiliate with GMCF.  As a further consequence of the affiliation, WCF has also been able to achieve its expectation of a noticeable savings in its administrative costs.  Prior to its affiliation with GMCF, WCF assets were primarily invested in certificates of deposit at very low interest rates which provided minimal investment return and required constant monitoring and reinvestment rollover.

The formation of the Wamego Community Foundation and its activities over the years has resulted in the creation and support of an efficient community mechanism through which individuals, families, corporations, nonprofit organizations and various types and forms of charitable funds and entities have been, and continue to be, able to make gifts for the benefit of the Wamego community and region.  The affiliation of WCF with the Manhattan Foundation has provided a unique, symbiotic relationship which emphasizes the balance achieved through local governance provided by the WCF Board of Directors on the one hand, and the strategic guidance, experience and expertise that is provided to WCF by the governing body and staff of the Manhattan Foundation on the other.

The Board of Directors of the Wamego Foundation is comprised of 12 members, elected for staggered three year terms to which each director may be elected twice.  The WCF Board consists of a cross-section of citizens from throughout the Wamego community, comprised of a diverse group of individuals representing a broad variety of business and other sectors of the Wamego community. Board members included local business owners, as well as representatives from such entities as the local hospital and hospital foundation, financial advisory firms, Wamego City Government, the Wamego School District, higher education, various health organizations, communication and marketing firms, local banking institutions and the Wamego Area Chamber of Commerce.  The Board is charged with local governance of the Wamego Foundation and the broad range of decision-making responsibilities required in directing the day-to-day charitable and funding support and guidance necessary to carry out the WCF mission and vision.  The WCF Board meets regularly not less than monthly and also operates through standing committees created by the Wamego Foundation’s By-laws which also meet periodically in the conduct of Foundation business.

The Manhattan Foundation is governed by an eleven member executive leadership Board, which meets monthly, and whose primary focus is to provide leadership and guidance for the growth of the Manhattan Foundation and its affiliates.  This governing Board directs the investment and management of Foundation assets and maintains and pursues ongoing assessment of community needs and requests for assistance from the Manhattan Foundation and its affiliates. The Manhattan Foundation plays a significant role in assisting and directing the distribution of monies and grants to a broad and diverse group of charitable and philanthropic causes and projects.  Disciplines and sectors to which funds are distributed and made available include, among others, the arts, youth, education, the elderly, the environment, health care, civic projects and human services, as well as a variety of charitable purposes, services and projects which have been directed by donors establishing funds with the Foundation for charitable support.  The Manhattan Foundation serves as a repository for pools of charitable giving originating not only from the Manhattan community and the surrounding area, but from the affiliate areas as well.  Pursuant to its long-term investment program, as funded by contributions from individual, corporate and organizational donors, the Manhattan Foundation and its member affiliates also continue to pursue their mutual continuing goal of developing and maintaining sustainable endowed funds for grant-making by charitable organizations and programs.  These activities of the Manhattan Foundation and its affiliates are directed to and focused on the noble purpose of enhancing the quality of life in each of their respective communities.

The Wamego Foundation Committee Structure

In accordance with its By-laws, governance of the Wamego Foundation, in addition to its Board of Directors, is also vested in and shared with five standing committees.  The membership on these committees can include members from the Board as well as members selected from the Wamego community at large.  The functions and duties assigned by the By-laws to each of these committees are summarized as follows:

Development and Fund Raising Committee.  A development/fundraising committee of not less than five persons is appointed annually by the Chairperson of the Wamego Foundation Board.  The purpose of this committee is to seek ways to develop and increase giving to the Wamego Foundation.  Board members as well as members from the community at large may be appointed to serve on this committee with the Board Chairperson being designated to appoint the committee chair.

Grants and Distribution Committee.  A grants and distribution committee consisting of a least three individuals is appointed annually by the Board Chairperson.  This committee is required to make periodic recommendations to the Board of Directors relating to effective and visible grants which have been or will be of notable benefit to the Wamego community.  Both Board members and members at large from the community may be appointed to serve on this committee and the chair of this committee is appointed by the Board Chairperson.

Investment and Finance Committee.  The Wamego Foundation’s Investment and Finance Committee consists of at least three members appointed annually by the Chairperson, who may be Board members and members of the community at large and whose chair shall also be appointed by the Board Chairperson.  The Investment and Finance Committee is charged with providing for and directing investment of the funds and assets of the Wamego Foundation and periodically making its recommendations to the Board and GMCF with respect thereto, with the preservation of such capital being of primary consideration and a major objective of both this committee and WCF.

Nominating and Board Development Committee.  Of major importance to continued Wamego Community Foundation successful governance are the functions and obligations assigned and to be performed by the members of the Nominating and Board Development Committee.  This committee consists of five members, all of which are appointed by the WCF Chairperson annually and solely from the membership of the WCF Board of Directors and with its chair also appointed by the Board Chairperson. The Chairperson also serves, pursuant to the provisions of the WCF Bylaws, as an ex-officio member of this committee. The Nominating and Board Development Committee is required to nominate persons for election to the Board of Directors of the Wamego Foundation and to also nominate individuals to be elected by said Directors to serve in various positions as the officers of WCF.  This committee is also vested with the privilege of making recommendations to the WCF Chairperson of those persons it deems suitable to serve on the various committees of the Wamego Foundation.  The Nominating and Board Development Committee also has authority to (1) plan Board retreats, when appropriate, and (2) make recommendations for appointments to both the executive committee and the advisory board for the Wamego Foundation as the same shall be established and functioning from time to time.

Public Awareness Committee.   At least three members are appointed to the Public Awareness Committee annually by the WCF Chairperson who also appoints the committee chair, and the persons so appointed may consist of members of the WCF Board of Directors as well as persons appointed to serve from the community at large.  The Public Awareness Committee is charged with the responsibility for developing ways and a comprehensive plan to position the Wamego Foundation to be widely recognized throughout Wamego as a valuable community asset which exists for the express purpose of encouraging charitable giving and philanthropy in the Wamego community and surrounding area.

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