Buckeye Farm News
By Amy Beth Graves
Three Ohio Farm Bureau foundations are becoming one this year: The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation will now encompass the Animals for Life Foundation (AFL) and the Ohio Center of Agricultural Law, Inc.
The goal is to streamline charitable giving, attract new types of donors and funnel some of the money to county Farm Bureaus for use in local programming.
“We want county Farm Bureaus to think across county lines and work together on significant projects. The Foundations would provide significant funds for those projects,” said David Rule, the foundation’s executive director.
Two new Foundation positions will be added to oversee the revamped foundation and grow its donor base. The goal is to raise $10 million over 10 years and use the money to fund programming in four areas: education, community development, legal issues and animal issues. Plans are to launch the new foundation with a major funding campaign at OFBF’s 2015 annual meeting.
Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation was founded in 1985 and is a 501(c) (3) charitable, nonprofit organization. It has helped community groups, civic leaders and consumers in rural, suburban and urban neighborhoods use agriculture to address a variety of quality of life issues.
OFBF still strongly believes in the causes of all three nonprofit, charitable foundations but feels having just one foundation will be easier to manage and more attractive to donors, Rule said.
“Over time we’ve come to realize that it’s difficult for donors to understand where to give and what their options are without a unified organization handling it,” he said.
Advisory boards will still represent animal and legal issues and report to the foundation’s board, which will consist of OFBF board members and staff as well as representatives from industry and the public.
“We are not cutting back on any Animals for Life or Center for Agricultural Law activities,” said Rule, pointing out that both the Animals for Life and Ohio Farm Bureau foundations will continue to provide scholarships.
Individuals interested in giving to the Foundation can do so in the following ways:
•outright gifts (cash, securities, real estate)
•deferred or planned giving (wills and bequests, life insurance, remainder interest),
•memorial or tributes
•gifts in trust
Donor contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.
Apply now for foundation scholarships
The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation maintains a “family” of scholarship endowments that recognize students for academic effort, community service and career interests that use agriculture to enhance community service, education or scientific research. Applications are being accepted until Feb. 28 for the Cindy Hollingshead Scholarship Fund, Darwin Bryan Scholarship Program, Women’s Leadership in Agriculture Scholarship Program and Foundation Scholar Award.