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Early in 2012, Nikki Zeuner at The Wellness Coalition convened a series of meetings with the various Community Foundations in New Mexico. A core group interested in establishing a Grant County Community Foundation emerged from those meetings. Prior to the Wellness Coalition meetings, funds from an anonymous donor had been placed with The Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico (CFSNM) in Las Cruces. The CFSNM was selected because of that foundation’s responsiveness and their Executive Director, Luan Wagner Burn’s, enthusiasm and professional input.

Consequently, the fund evolved into a broader vision for a Community Foundation that would serve Grant County (The Grant County Community Foundation (GCCF) addressing critical but unmet needs.

Alicia Edwards of the Volunteer Center was the inspiration for this concept at least 5 years ago. Barrett Brewer agreed to chair the endeavor and represent the fund at the CFSNM meetings for the short term.  As the first County Fund to be established with the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico, we are in a unique position to mold its structure.  

Our hope is that this fund will prove transformative through its collective impact.  This will not happen quickly so a long view is necessary.  However, the GCCFF can provide a platform to begin a larger discussion about the art of philanthropy. Building community through the art of philanthropy is the aspiration. Turning aspiration into impact is the goal.

All philanthropy is personal. By focusing on critical but unmet needs in Grant County, the fund is open to endless opportunities for a variety of donors and grantees.  The intent is that this fund will not compete for the limited donation dollars within Grant County but will serve as a catalyst generating endowments and additional gifts, enjoying a symbiotic relationship with all non-profits, and helping them flourish.