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McHenry County foundation joins trust

WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County Community Foundation is joining with the Chicago Community Trust so it can stay focused on local projects.

The foundation, a philanthropic group that raises and directs funds to county nonprofit entities, will be an affiliate of Chicago Community Trust, a much larger nonprofit organization with a similar mission.

The move, to be announced Tuesday, will allow the local foundation to take advantage of “economies of scale” and use the trust’s back-office staff, said Robin Doeden, president and CEO of the McHenry County Community Foundation.

The trust has $1.6 billion in assets and more than 60 employees compared to the foundation’s $13 million in assets and three employees.

“This will allow our limited staff to spend more time in the field overseeing local projects,” Doeden said, instead of administrative tasks such as payroll and accounting.

The foundation’s local projects include the release of the “Cancer Survivorship Handbook for McHenry County” and a program that reimburses homeowners for sealing unused wells.

Doeden said the foundation’s board had been discussing a partnership with the Chicago Community Trust for several years. The foundation’s mission is to provide for “unmet county social, cultural, educational and charitable needs” in McHenry County communities.

In 2012, the foundation distributed $450,000 in grants to organizations such as Sage YMCA, Habitat for Humanity, Family Alliance, chapters of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and the Raue Center for the Arts.       

This year the foundation plans to award about $600,000 in grants, thanks to a large donation that came in late last year from an anonymous donor, Doeden said. 

Though the foundation will be affiliated with Chicago Community Trust, its mission will remain the same. 

“We’re still going to be focused on this county and the organizations that serve this county,” Doeden said. “That’s not going to change.”

The Chicago Community Trust couldn’t be reached immediately Friday for comment.

Foundation Board Chairman Rick Schildgen is to make the affiliation announcement at a press conference at 10 a.m. Tuesday at American Community Bank, 381 S. Main St., Crystal Lake.

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