by MATTHEW NASH
Officials with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula hope a new endowment fund and Planned Giving Program help them establish long-term stability.
Recently, the clubs’ board of directors approved the program, appointing Jerry Opp, the clubs’ former foundation executive director, as the new Legacy Gift director. He was hired more than a year ago for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula’s Foundation to establish long-term financial stability for the Sequim and Port Angeles clubs.
“Our planned giving program provides a wider range of opportunities for current and prospective donors,” Opp said.
Donation opportunities range from wills, monies from IRA accounts, life insurance policies, gift annuities, to trusts through estate plans.
“Many of these options carry a tax advantage as well as the potential for investment income, so the contribution benefits both the giver and the recipient,” Opp said.
His first goal is to raise $250,000 and start helping the clubs in what he calls “critical mass.”
The clubs’ directors established a policy that they only can use 5 percent of funds from the program each year as part of their budget.
Opp said their ultimate goal would be to establish a fund four times the clubs’ annual budget, or about $4 million. The clubs then could budget about $200,000 a year from the fund.
Foundation phasing itself out
To establish the Planned Giving Program, both the clubs’ and foundation’s boards of directors voted to transfer their funds to the endowment, which the club will oversee.
Tom Baermann, president of the foundation board, said it raised about $30,000 over its 15 years with much of it coming from their Olympic Venture Ride bike ride, which is now run by the Sequim Sunrise Rotary.
Len Lewicki, clubs’ board president, said everyone did their due diligence in making the decision to transfer all of the funds.
“The two boards decided it made a lot more operational sense to do away with the foundation and transfer the duties and obligations of building and running an endowment directly to the clubs,” he said.
Baermann said they created the foundation 15 years ago in conjunction with starting the Sequim club.
“There wasn’t a lot of momentum with the foundation and when there was, a new board (of directors for the club) would come in and we’d start over,” Baermann said.
Lewicki said the two separate boards never got in sync. However, he said establishing the giving program wasn’t a light decision, either.
“To build an endowment, you know you are going to devote a lot of time and money to build that up and you might not see a payoff for a few years,” he said.
“The foundation is still 100 percent behind the endowment,” Baermann said.
Mary Budke, clubs’ executive director, said the organization running its own endowment falls in line with the 4,000-plus national Boys & Girls Clubs.
Money from the foundation is being turned over to the clubs for the giving program’s costs and marketing and for setting up the endowment. At this time, no money is in the endowment, Opp said.
Lewicki said people often don’t know that they can leave funds to the clubs and designate how those funds can be used.
“We can explain it to them and how we’re going to manage it and provide them any other details they might need,” he said.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula, 400 W. Fir St., can be reached at 683-8095 or visit www.bgc-op.org.