As fundholder Cathy Loew jokes, she’s a walking billboard for the Community Foundation.
“People sort of glaze over when I bring it up,” Cathy laughed. “We are honored to be a part of the wonderful work the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia does for our community.”
We did a story on the Loews shortly after they became fundholders (read it here) but we thought we’d check in with these dedicated fundholders and get an update. Keep reading to discover how the Community Foundation has helped them on their journey of generosity.
CFNEG: You’ve been fundholders a little more than two years now – have your giving goals changed?
The Loews: Cathy has joined the Giving Girls, a giving circle of local women, where we pool our giving dollars and decide as a group which local nonprofit we will fund. The group meets four times a year, with the late spring and early fall meetings to include presentations from six emerging nonprofits (budgets less than $100,000). We are amazed at the “grassroots” nonprofits where a regular person saw a need and decided to do something about it.
CFNEG: What have been the benefits of giving through the Community Foundation?
The Loews: The Community Foundation of Northeast Georgia has made us more aware of the many local charities that could benefit from our support. Through the Good2Give Celebration, newsletters and social media posts we are made of the many charities doing great work in our local community.
CFNEG: Britt Ramroop, our director of fundholder experience, came on board last fall. What have been the benefits of working with her?
The Loews: Britt is a great resource. Cathy has a unique perspective because she continues to volunteer for a few local nonprofits and attends CFNEG’s workshops (for nonprofits) on a regular basis. She “sits on both sides of the fence” as a funder and a volunteer. Britt (and Randy) are very generous with guidance. She has no hesitation in reaching out to them for suggestions or questions. We feel the same generosity with the consultants that lead their workshops. Cathy occasionally reaches out to Elizabeth Hornbuckle of Wellspring Nonprofit with a grant question. Amanda Sutt from Rock Paper Scissors recently solved a graphics dilemma for Cathy. Heather Loveridge from Magnolia Media Group provided Cathy with step-by-step instructions for creating a “Donate Now Button” on Facebook for one of the nonprofits she works with. Britt, Randy and their team of consultants are always happy to help.
CFNEG: What do you know about Gwinnett and the surrounding communities that you didn’t know before becoming fundholders?
The Loews: We basically knew about the “major league” nonprofits: United Way, American Cancer Society, Red Cross. They all do amazing things. But we don’t have the kind of donation that would make an impact with a big charity. Through the Community Foundation’s lens, we have become more aware of the smaller nonprofits like Hands of Christ Food Co-Op in Duluth and the PATH Project. We enjoy donating to these nonprofits because we know it makes a difference.
CFNEG: What else have you learned?
The Loews: It’s not just about the money. It’s also about the knowledge. Through the Giving Girls, Cathy was required to make a site visit to Shiloh High School’s Care Closet (a food pantry for food-insecure students). While meeting with the coordinators, Cathy provided them with some grant possibilities and information about needs-based scholarships. She learned about these things through the Community Foundation of Northeast Georgia – she wouldn’t have known about them otherwise.
CFNEG: Is giving part of your kids’ lives as well?
The Loews: We have two kids in college and a freshman in high school. When we are all at the dinner table, the conversation changes course but giving is a topic that often is discussed Our kids know how important it is to our family. Just the other night, our freshman told us how she was asked politely for a $1.00 by a stranger in her school cafeteria. She gave him a $1.00 for a Rice Krispies Treat from the vending machine. Her friends were shocked. She said, “It felt good… such a small amount of money could produce so much happiness”.