New endowment fund established to help keep wealth in Monroe County

Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 6:47 PM CST
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PARIS, Mo. (WGEM) - Residents of Monroe County, Missouri may see more grant projects awarded in the coming years thanks to a new endowment fund.

With the help of the Community Foundation, the Monroe County Endowment Fund was established to support community needs and opportunities.

In order to get started, the fund set a fundraising goal of $15,000 at which the Community Foundation would match the goal.

As of Thursday morning, the foundation reached that goal with the help of a private donation and several companies including the Benson Financial Group, Chariton Valley Communications Corporation, Macon Electric Cooperative, Missouri Rural Electric Cooperative and F&M Bank and Trust Company.

Endowment fund council member Allie Bennett said the fund could not have been launched so quickly without the community support.

“I’m really proud of what happened today with our community members and our businesses willing to give back so quickly and really a lot of generosity was shown today for us to meet that goal that we thought maybe would take us a year or so to make,” Bennett said. “So, we’re really excited and really thankful to our communities and our businesses that have helped us so far.”

CEO of Community Foundation Catherine Meckes said there is a lot of untapped potential in Monroe County.

“Research shows that there’s about $1.2 billion of wealth here in Monroe County and over the next ten years, about $122 million will transfer between generations as we pass away,” Meckes said.

She said if a percentage of that were contributed to the endowment fund, it could add up quickly.

“If just 5% of that were given to the Monroe County Endowment Fund, it would create an endowment that would be worth $6.1 million,” Meckes said. “That would generate grant making funds of $300,000 each and every year.”

She encourages other Northeast Missouri and West Central Illinois counties to look into the creation of an endowment fund to help their communities.

Applications are already open for the Monroe County fund which will be awarded later in the summer.

More information on the Community Foundation and the endowment funds can be found by clicking here.

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