Juneau is filled with giving people, said Joyce Kilcup, who came to work last spring as executive director for the United Way of Southeast Alaska.
A board member of the new Juneau Community Foundation, Kilcup said the new organization can help Juneau derive more from philanthropy.
The Juneau foundation is affiliated with the Anchorage-based Alaska Community Foundation, through which local nonprofit organizations will be able to invest their funds.
Reed Stoops, a lobbyist and developer, is president of the Juneau foundation's board. He said the foundation has been in the works for a couple of years.
"It was created to make it easy for people to financially contribute to the betterment of Juneau's future," he said. "Individuals and businesses can feel confident their money will be directed to the things they care about far into the future."
Stoops said the foundation will allow nonprofits to invest with other organizations. It will let nonprofit board concentrate on managing their organizations without worrying about investments.
"And hopefully the amount of charitable giving in Juneau will increase," he said.
Kilcup said that when she tells people she is on the foundation's board, they ask her how it is different from what United Way already provides.
"Both of us are involved in developing a culture of philanthropy," she said.
Stoops said the community foundation will be able to assist people who want to give a large gift or leave money in their wills toward a specific purpose, such as a scholarship fund.
"We would do our best to accommodate them," he said.
Currently the foundation has no overhead, Stoops said, because it works out of his office. As it grows, it will have to hire a part-time staff, the a full-time staff.
In addition to Stoops and Kilcup, the board's members include Vice President Ken Leghorn, Treasurer George Elgee, Secretary Eric Kueffner, Elsa Denksa, Sioux Plummer Douglas, Clark Gruening, Karen Hansen, Peter Jurasz and Bob Storer. Marni Moore serves as the board's administrative assistant.
Stoops said that in the next three months, the board will establish long- and short-term objectives, adopt a budget and begin a community education program focused on options for charitable giving.
"I've really been pleased and impressed by the generosity of the community," Kilcup said. But there are a lot of organizations asking for money, she said.
"They have to make decisions," she said.
For information about the Juneau Community Foundation, contact Stoops or Moore at 463-3223.