History of The Community Foundation of the Dan River Region and Halifax County’s Relationship
Major General Carroll Thackston (former Mayor of South Boston), served six years on the Board of Directors of The Community Foundation of the Dan River Region. He came to understand the unique way The Foundation operates during his time of service. He recognized the value of investing money now to create permanent funding for the future. In 2010, he made the first gift toward the Fund for Halifax County. When Thackston sat down with Bill Kelehar, Logan Young, and The Foundation’s now retired executive director, Debra Dodson, all were filled with excitement to establish the Fund for Halifax and stated, “We hope this is just the beginning.”
The Fund for Halifax County is a field of interest fund, which means the donors chose an area they wanted to support when they set up the fund. It was originally established in 2010 by Major General Carroll Thackston, Mr. and Mrs. William Kelehar and Logan Young to support charitable organizations in Halifax County. The fund became fully endowed to distribute grants in 2011 with a generous $10,000 donation by the Chastain Home.
The Community Foundation of the Dan River Region has awarded over $1,066,000 in grants to organizations in Halifax County since its formation in 1996. Halifax County remains a top priority for The Foundation, and in 2022, the Board of Directors designed a five-year strategic plan that included an action plan to increase the assets of the Fund for Halifax County to $250,000.
How it Works
One reason Carroll Thackston, Logan Young and Bill Kelehar were so invested in establishing the Fund for Halifax County is because a community foundation has a unique operating model. A community foundation is a tax-exempt, nonprofit, publicly supported, philanthropic organization that exists only to improve the lives of people in a defined geographic area. Community foundations utilize endowed funds to protect the principal amount given by a donor. The principal is combined with all donations to a foundation and is invested conservatively. The gains from this investment are paid out to the public in the form of grants or scholarships. This model allows the principal to stay intact so the donation permanently provides funding to the designated geographic area.
When a fund or scholarship is established with The Community Foundation of the Dan River Region, it must become endowed before it will pay out a grant or scholarship. In the case of a grant fund, $10,000 gives it endowed status, while scholarships require $25,000. The Foundation has an approved payout rate of 3.75% for both grants and scholarships. The higher the principal is, the higher the payouts will be each year. The funds donated to the Fund for Halifax County are only used to serve Halifax County. Donors may rest assured that when a donation is made, they are investing in their own community.
What You Can Do
The Fund for Halifax County needs people who are as dedicated to Halifax County as Major General Carroll Thackston was, so that The Foundation can continue to honor his forward-thinking vision. This is an exciting opportunity to give back to and help develop forever support for the community you call home. Donations of any size help build the principal of the fund, allowing more money to be invested in Halifax County each year. Will you answer the call?