Los Alamos Community Foundation’s Annual “Celebrating Los Alamos Philanthropy” Celebrates Impact

(LACF News) – Over 50 community members gathered in person and virtually at Fuller Lodge on November 17 to celebrate “Change, Progress and Growth” as noted by the evening’s emcee and LACF Executive Director, Rachel Kizielewicz.

“Our mission is to build enduring philanthropy to empower our community’s nonprofit organizations, and the way we do that is by helping community members create endowments to benefit a particular organization or a particular cause,” said Kizielewicz. “We invest the principal of the endowment, ensure prudent funds management, and the earnings generated by the endowment each year get directed out to the community in the form of grants to nonprofits.”

In 2021, LACF awarded seven grants, totaling $27,000 in its first cycle of discretionary grants aimed at building the capacity of local nonprofits.

Self Help Board member, Evelyn Mullen, expressed gratitude for a capacity-building grant to develop a robust database especially helpful to capture the organization’s many donors and supporters.

Liz Martineau, Executive Director of the Los Alamos Historical Society, and Jordan Redmond, Executive Director of Los Alamos Family Council both talked about their participation in “Jumpstart” a year-long fundraising mentorship program made possible by funding from N3B.

Redmond noted that LAFC adopted an “endowment strategy” and created their agency endowment fund at LACF. Redmond has a goal of growing the endowment to a point where it will eventually cover the organization’s operating costs in perpetuity.

“Los Alamos Community Foundation has truly done a wonderful job of bringing the notion of sustainability and longevity to the nonprofits here in town,” said Redmond.

In addition to N3B, Kizielewicz spoke of funding partnerships with Century Bank and Delle Foundation as well as continuing partnerships with Enterprise Bank, LANL Foundation, LANL Community Partnerships Office and United Way of Northern New Mexico.

During the event, LACF announced two new endowments. Georgia Strickfaden recently created the “Pajarito Plateau Heritage Preservation Endowment” to fund historic preservation of the homestead era on the Pajarito plateau. Ken Milder, a founding board member of Los Alamos Community Foundation, recently created an endowment to benefit the Los Alamos Little Theatre.

Cindy Rooney, Chancellor of UNM-Los Alamos and LACF board member announced that as part of a U.S. Department of Education Title V grant received by UNM-LA, there is a unique opportunity for donations to the UNM-LA endowment account held at the Community Foundation to be matched dollar for dollar up to $250,000 over five years.

Rick Reiss, LACF volunteer bookkeeper and investment committee member, closed the evening by honoring founding member Don Cobb, noting the instrumental work he has done for the Foundation and for so many other organizations in our community. Cobb retires from the Board after serving the organization for seven years.

“Rachel mentioned two new endowments had recently been created, but I’m excited to announce that there are actually three, because the Foundation’s board has created an endowment in Don Cobb’s honor in acknowledgment of the extraordinary support Don has extended to many nonprofit organizations,” said Reiss.

Cobb added, “It’s been my honor to serve with a great group of people. I’m proud to have been part of building LACF into a contributing part of the Los Alamos community.”

For more information or to donate to any of the endowments held by LACF, please visit LosAlamosCF.org/donate.

About the Los Alamos Community Foundation: Established in 2015, the focus of the Los Alamos Community Foundation is to improve the quality of life in our community by inspiring, facilitating and supporting enduring philanthropy, and building the capacity and success of our local nonprofit organizations. The Los Alamos Community Foundation currently stewards eleven local endowed funds and has total assets of more than $900,000. For more information about the Los Alamos Community Foundation, visit www.losalamoscf.org.