Spotlight: World Affairs Council of Jacksonville

When your focus is the world, you naturally think big.  And the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville is doing just that with their growing Innovations in Global Education Endowment Fund, housed here at The Community Foundation.

It was established in 2014 with a $200,000 gift from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, honoring the retirement of Admiral Jonathan T. Howe, USN (Ret.).  With 100% participation from the Board of Directors, a campaign was launched to grow the endowment.  The effort has been actively marketed, including the creation of a brochure explaining its purposes, and donors have been adding to the endowment on a regular basis. Today, the agency is nearly ¾’s of the way toward its $1 million goal.

The endowment focuses on three education programs:  the Great Decisions program for high school students, a scholarship program for college students and a Global Teacher Enrichment Program which combines local workshops with an international experience for educators.

worldcouncilaffairs_blog“It’s been a lot of work, but it’s been a lot of fun. The best part is getting to work with the students and the teachers. They are very excited about what we are doing with the endowment,” said Uli Decker, Director of Education and Community Outreach for the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville, noting that the endowment is already actively making grants to support the education programs.

Decker went on to say that having a defined purpose and strong board support from the get go have been keys to leveraging the endowment to members and the community at large and ultimately,  the campaign’s success.

“If you are planning for an endowment campaign, communicate a strong case,” she noted. “Really help your donors understand why they are giving, maybe even on top of what they have already given. Stress the long term value, making programs more sustainable beyond the current fiscal year.”

“I have to applaud the World Affairs Council for embracing their endowment and recognizing the power that comes from regular additions to it.  The beauty of an organizational endowment is that it is, in many ways, a gift to themselves and those they serve—one that will go on in perpetuity.”   – John Zell