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Young professionals invests nearly $280,000

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By Todd Cohen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Seven years ago, Anne Lineweaver, then chair of the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, had an idea for getting young professionals involved in philanthropy.

Nurtured by Jim and Louise Brady, a professional couple Lineweaver recruited to chair the effort, the idea has blossomed into the Future Fund, a donor-advised fund at the foundation.

More than 600 young professionals have contributed nearly $280,000 to the endowed fund through annual gifts of $125 or more each, with a goal of increasing it to $1 million by 2010, says Mindy Oakley, special projects consultant at the foundation.

When the endowment reaches that goal, she says, it will be able to generate enough income to make grants totaling roughly $50,000 a year.

But the Future Fund, which receives contributions from about 300 donors a year, already has made grants totaling $220,000, thanks to gifts from individual or corporate donors that have matched contributions by Future Fund members.

This year, for example, Future Fund members contributed $40,000 to the endowment, and the PGA Tour’s Chrysler Classic of Greensboro matched those contributions with a gift of $40,000 that is being used to make grants to five organizations.

“We want to both grow the endowment and make grants that have an impact now,” Oakley says.

Advised by a board chaired by Jean Anne Ferner, director of administration for the law firm of Nexsen Pruet Adams Keemeier PLLC, the fund each year selects a theme for its grants.

This year’s grants are designed to help groups launch innovative programs to benefit the community’s future, with a particular focus on addressing the needs of underserved populations.

The grants, announced March 17 at a kickoff event at Kress Terrace for the fund’s fifth annual membership campaign, include:

* $8,000 to ActionGreensboro for Triad InterNet, a web portal to increase the number and quality of internships in the region.

* $7,000 to the Guilford Education Alliance for its Principal for a Day program to connect community leaders to public schools.

* $10,000 to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwestern North Carolina in Winston-Salem to open a Kids Café to provide meals to needy children.

* $10,000 to the United Arts Council of Greater Greensboro for the Coffee Cup Collaborative, a public art installation to commemorate Greensboro’s place in civil rights history, and generate dialogue.

* $5,000 to YWCA Greensboro to create a “doula”, or midwife, program to provide support and education to teen parents.

The grant recipients were honored at a separate event April 6 at Triad Stage at which they and past grantees hosted displays of programs that have received support from the fund.

The fund also will co-host a Kentucky Derby party on May 6 at Blandwood Mansion with the Prelude Society, a young donor’s group at the United Arts Council.

Chair-elect of the fund, whose Future Fund members range from ages 20 to 50, is Jon Bell, vice president at Steven D. Bell & Co., a real estate development company, and founding co-chairs are Jim Brady, vice president and general manager for Brady Trane Services, and Louise Brady, vice president for investments at Wachovia Securities.

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