The Forest Preserve Friends Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation organized for charitable and educational purposes. The Foundation promotes public awareness of the facilities, programs, services, goals and mission of the Champaign County Forest Preserve District. In turn, it generates support in the form of fundraising, volunteerism and collaborative relationships with other agencies. The Board also serves to assist the District in setting goals for long-range fiscal management plans.
Your contributions to the Foundation support the projects and activities at the Champaign County Forest Preserve District. Whether helping to acquire land, maintain natural and recreational areas, provide educational experiences, or preserve the County’s natural and cultural resources,
your gift will touch the lives of generations to come.
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OVER THE PHONE
Success! Your donations in 2012 provided the opportunity to develop, protect and enhance many places and programs at the District. Two of our largest projects, The Museum of the Grand Prairie Education Center and the Homer Lake Natural Playscape, are now open and being enjoyed by many. Donor opportunities still exist for these projects as well as the many others showcased here.
Our continued success in 2013 can only be accomplished with your help. We have many ways to donate and you can designate your gift to a specific effort. We thank you in advance for your support and wish you the best for a safe and boutiful new year.
Daniel J. Olson
Foundation Board Members
Robin Hall, President
Bob Espeseth, Secretary
Joe Lamb, Vice President
Dan Noel, Treasurer
Dan Olson, Executive Director CCFPD
Mary Ellen Wuellner, Deputy Executive Director CCFPD
The role of the Forest Preserve Friends Foundation is to preserve and enhance our natural and cultural resources by supporting and fostering conservation, educational and recreational programs for the benefit of Champaign County.
Goals of the Foundation
To support the programs and projects of the CCFPD;
Frequently asked questions
What Is the Forest Preserve Friends Foundation?
The Forest Preserve Friends Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation organized for charitable and educational purposes. It accepts contributions and gifts, promotes fund-raising activities, and provides assistance to the programs and projects of the Champaign County Forest Preserve District. The Foundation is a separate entity from the Forest Preserve District and does not receive either tax revenue or user fee support. All contributions to the Foundation, whether cash or in-kind, remain separate from the CCFPD’s general revenue and operating expenses.
Why Does a Governmental Unit Such as the CCFPD Need a Foundation?
A Foundation can do things that units of local government cannot easily do, particularly in the area of obtaining grants for major development projects or land acquisition. Grants usually require a local contribution ranging from 20% to 50% of the total cost of a project or acquisition. When funds held by the Foundation are used for grants, their value at least doubles. For example, if the Foundation has a piece of property worth $50,000, it has a value of at least $100,000 when the District applies for a grant.
Why are Grants So Important?
In 2000, the Forest Preserve District was able to obtain its largest grant yet – $1.8 million that allowed the District to purchase 275 acres of land that include a spring-fed lake as well as three miles of Sangamon River corridor. This was made possible because the property owners donated land that served as the District’s share in the grant application.
Other grant-funded projects in the Forest Preserve District have included the 3.3-mile bicycle/pedestrian path that crosses Lake of the Woods County Park, the construction of a much-needed meeting facility that benefits the southeastern portion of the county and a revamped canoe access point along the Salt Fork River. Grants awarded to Champaign County bring federal and state dollars back to this community. Continued growth in assets held by the Foundation will allow the Forest Preserve District the backing it needs for future grant applications. This money will not only see immediate results, it will benefit generations to come.
Types of Gifts
There are many ways you can contribute. Outright gifts of money, securities, real estate, insurance policies, equipment and personal property, future charitable remainder unitrusts, life-income plans, testimony trusts, bequests and memorial gifts, including land set aside as living memorials, are all options. You may find also that you can "double your dollars" through matching gift programs offered by your business or corporation.
There are two classifications of gifts:
Unrestricted Gifts: Gifts of this type have no specific stipulation attached to them. They enable the Foundation to meet goals and to allocate funds for projects considered to be of greatest importance at any given time.
Designated Gifts: These gifts stipulate a specific use such as specialized program needs, equipment, teaching aids, capital construction, endowments or general development. Trusts may be formed for maintenance of these gifts.
Because the FPF Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, gifts may be tax-deductible. If you would like more information on gift opportunities, the FPF Foundation may be reached through the Champaign County Forest Preserve District at (217) 586-3360 or email@example.com.
Where Will My Contribution Go?
One of the immediate goals of the Foundation is to continue its recently established scholarship program to assist college students and teachers in pursuing educational goals consistent with the District’s mission. Your funds may be used immediately for projects, programs or your donation may be allowed to accumulate to assist the District in a future endeavor. Your contribution will not be used for operating expenses.
Public contributions have long played an important role in the history of the District. The Museum of the Grand Prairie and its excellent collection, the Mabery Gelvin Botanical Gardens, the Hartwell C. Howard Golf Course, the HI-Tower bell carillon, Riverview Retreat Center, Harry Swartz Memorial Woods, Grandma Patton’s Woods, Collins Woods, and the River Bend Forest Preserve are all a part of the Champaign County Forest Preserve District because of the gracious generosity of people and organizations in the community.