Morrisville endowment to fund local intiatives

It’s been said that the definition of a truly excellent community is one that puts in place measures to ensure sustainability. Some call it “taking care of their own.” 

However it’s defined, past and present elected officials of the Town of Morrisville, local residents, business and civic leaders have joined together to create an endowment with the North Carolina Community Foundation. The impetus for the fund is to support local nonprofit initiatives that help define this growing Wake County town’s quality of life.

Jan Faulkner was Morrisville’s mayor in 2008 when she, Council Member Liz Johnson and Town Manager John Whitson pulled together a group of local leaders to brainstorm about how to support initiatives that couldn’t be funded by taxpayer dollars or a limited municipal budget.

“So many important groups needed modest contributions that we couldn’t support through the town,” Faulkner said. “We saw that even small gifts could make a big difference to these organizations, such as the Girl Scouts, Meals on Wheels and other programs for the elderly.” Even local emergency-service organizations sought additional funding because of the lean economy.

The group set about exploring all options and decided to pursue the creation of an endowment with NCCF.

While Faulkner wasn’t re-elected in 2009, new Morrisville Mayor Jackie Holcombe thought so much of the idea that she put politics aside and asked Jan to head up a steering committee to get the fund off the ground.

Thanks to the generosity of area residents, organizations and businesses, the group was able to double its fund-raising goal, bringing in $20,000 in donations to start the Morrisville Community Fund.

As Johnson of the town council told last summer: “I am…proud of the diversity of our founding members, a cross-section of Morrisville residents, businesses and faith-based organizations that reflect the welcoming, rich Morrisville community.” She added: “This fund will serve the current and future Morrisville residents for generations to come.”

In a town that has grown from just a few hundred residents to nearly 20,000 in just three decades, a municipal endowment designed to serve as a permanent community resource will ensure it continues to meet the local needs that such rapid growth brings. It is, after all, what defines a truly excellent community.

If you’re interested in helping to establish a permanent endowment for your community, email Beth Boney Jenkins or call 919-256-6932.

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