The Greater Hermiston Community Foundation (GHCF) has joined the “Raise Up Umatilla County” fundraising campaign with the opportunity to multiply local donations through matching funds.
The campaign’s goal is to raise $12 million before the end of 2024 to be placed into four community endowment “forever” funds that will be used to award grants to help communities as their needs change over time.
“When you give to an endowment fund, that money is invested for perpetual benefit,” said Greg Harris, GHCF board member. “This means that only the earnings from the investment of your contributions will be available for grants. Your gift becomes a lasting contribution that forever impacts communities.
As a part of the Raise Up campaign, local donations to the GHCF are eligible for a 50% match through the Blue Mountain Community Foundation (BMCF). To date, the GHCF has received over $250,000 toward the Raise Up campaign, which the BMCF has matched with $125,000.
A local donor also recently committed to matching an additional 50% of Raise Up campaign donations, creating a 1.25-to-1 match on all contributions. For example, an initial $10,000 donation to the GHCF endowment fund would grow to $22,500.
The GHCF was formed in 2016 to increase opportunities for philanthropy throughout the Oregon Columbia Basin, including Hermiston, Umatilla, Stanfield, Echo, and Irrigon. The tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) public charity enables people to donate to an endowment for the purpose of community enhancement.
“In my work, I was hearing from people who expressed a desire to give back and invest in our community in a way that had a lasting impact past year-to-year single, short-term needs,” said Dennis Barnett, GHCF board member. “Personally, any wealth I’ve made has been here in this community, and it is important to me that I give back to the community that supported me and my family. So, I began to think about how we could create something that met those needs—something that had a forever impact.”
“As our communities grow, the needs of the communities grow, and I am really excited about all of the possibilities this fund creates,” said Cindy Middleton, GHCF board member. “The GHCF has already given over $20,000 to various projects, including support for the HEROS Complex. This is just the beginning of the Foundation making a difference.”