May Foundation News

In the month of May, we unite to recognize and raise awareness for significant causes. May marks not only the blooming of spring but also the acknowledgment of Childhood Mental Health Awareness Month and Period Poverty Awareness Month.

These observances serve as poignant reminders of the hurdles many face within our community, emphasizing the critical need to support mental health initiatives for children and address the pervasive issue of period poverty. Let's come together to advocate for understanding, extend compassion, and take action to enact positive change in the lives of those impacted by these challenges right here in our community.

We're privileged to highlight a couple of remarkable organizations in our region dedicated to tackling these issues. "It's That Time, Girl," a program under the Diaper Bank of the Delta, is tirelessly working to eradicate period poverty through access and education.

Additionally, Canopy Children's Solutions is helping children thrive and families overcome extraordinary challenges by providing a continuum of behavioral health, educational and family support solutions.

Explore Further: Period Poverty
It's That Time, Girl: Facebook 

Discover the LINK Service program in partnership with Canopy Children’s Solutions! They've teamed up with the Department of Human Services to introduce the (LINK) program. This statewide initiative has already made a difference in countless families' lives, and they're ready to assist even more.

Their comprehensive resources include free Active Parenting classes, teen pregnancy prevention support, mental health services, GED classes, substance abuse assistance, and utility aid. Whether you have questions, ideas to share, or concerns to address about the program, they're available to help. Attached below, you'll find a program flyer and community education flyer for more information.

Canopy Website
LINK Referral Form
Link Flyer

Five FAQs to help you establish an Endowment:

Many charities establish endowment funds and reserve funds at the community foundation to help ensure that their missions stay strong during economic downturns and periods of increased community need.

What you might be less familiar with, however, is an endowment fund established at the community foundation by an individual or family. Every year, the team at the community foundation works with people like you to establish endowment funds to support the needs of our region in perpetuity.

Here are answers to four frequently asked questions about setting up an endowment fund.

1. Why does the community foundation offer endowment funds to individuals and families?

The Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi serves as the hub of philanthropy for many families in our community. We connect donors like you to causes you care about, and this includes offering the opportunity to make a charitable investment that supports a range of community needs now and, in the decades ahead–needs that cannot be predicted. That’s the purpose of an endowment: to provide a steady stream of dollars, far into the future, to meet community needs as they arise.

2. How does an “endowment” work?

“Endowment” is the word often used to refer to a designated pool of assets that are invested by the community foundation and tracked separately such that a spendable percentage of the assets are distributed each year to charitable causes, and the rest of the assets remain invested to grow in perpetuity. This growth helps the endowment provide even more support each year to the causes for which it was established. The community foundation team is experienced at managing the accounting, investment, and distribution aspects of endowment funds.

3. How can I stay involved with my endowment fund after it’s established?

First and foremost, you can name the endowment fund anything you want, such as the “Smith Family Endowment Fund,” or something more anonymous such as the “Endowment Fund for Our Future.” In addition, our team is happy to keep you informed about the positive change in the community that is occurring thanks to the distributions from the endowment fund you’ve established. We can continue to keep your children and grandchildren informed, too, beyond your lifetime. In this way, your legacy continues through the generations.  

4. Who decides where the endowment distributions go each year?

You, the donor, recommends distributions from your endowment, and our independent board of directors’ reviews and approves these distributions to ensure that they fulfill your charitable goals for establishing the endowment in the first place. The community foundation is itself a permanent institution. Our board and staff are committed to keeping a finger on the pulse of the region’s greatest needs and maintaining a deep knowledge of the charitable organizations that are meeting these needs every day. This is the community foundation’s mission in perpetuity. The community foundation’s team is made up of dedicated and knowledgeable professionals who understand our community and build ongoing personal relationships with the people working at the region’s charitable organizations.

5. What does it take to establish an endowment fund?

Setting up an endowment fund is easy! Our team will prepare simple paperwork capturing the name of the endowment fund and any areas of interest you’d like to support. Then, you can transfer cash—or, even better for tax purposes, you can transfer appreciated assets such as stock or real estate and much more. You’ll be eligible for a charitable tax deduction in the year you make the transfer to establish the fund. You can make future transfers to your endowment fund each year, too, to achieve your tax and estate planning goals. Our team is also happy to work with you and your advisors to structure a bequest to your endowment fund following your death. We highly recommend considering a bequest in the form of a beneficiary designation on an IRA because of the multiple tax benefits. Related, if you are over 70 ½, making a “Qualified Charitable Distribution” from your IRA directly to your endowment fund is a very effective charitable planning tool to avoid income tax and satisfy your Required Minimum Distribution if you’ve reached that age as well.

As you contemplate your legacy and adjust your estate plan over the years, it's natural to focus on your children and family as the primary beneficiaries in your will and trust. If you’re like an increasing number of charitably minded individuals, though, you might find that your perspectives about what exactly it means to leave a legacy are expanding beyond your next of kin. Your community is on your mind and in your heart, and you’re interested in ways you can support and improve the quality of life for people in the region we call home.


If you’re intrigued, you are not alone! Many philanthropic individuals are broadening their estate plan beneficiaries to prominently include their community or favorite cause, right alongside children and grandchildren. The team at the Community Foundation would be honored to discuss the ways we can help. Here are three options for funds you can establish with the Community Foundation to benefit our community in your overall philanthropy and estate plan:

1. Unrestricted Fund: Major advantages of the Community Foundation include its perpetual structure, community-based governance, and commitment to addressing needs as they change. An unrestricted fund allows you and your family to provide support that evolves over time as priorities in the region shift, without the burden of making decisions. The Community Foundation’s mission is to connect people who care with causes that matter â€“ we thoroughly understand the community and how to improve lives within it. The Community Foundation’s board and professional staff conduct ongoing, extensive research about the needs of the community and the nonprofit programs that are addressing those needs. Giving to the Community Foundation’s unrestricted fund means you are investing in the community foundation to support programs that are addressing the community’s most pressing needs as well as needs that can’t be identified until the future.

2.  Field-of-Interest Fund: A field-of-interest fund is an ideal way to target your giving to specific areas of community need (such as education, health, environment, or the arts). Your field of interest fund at the Community Foundation establishes parameters for grant making according to your wishes. The Community Foundation’s staff follows these parameters and uses its research and expertise to make grants that align with your intentions. Your fund can continue beyond your lifetime and for multiple generations, consistently providing grants to support your area of interest according to the terms you established when you first created the fund.

3. Designated Fund: A designated fund at the Community Foundation can help you secure your favorite organization’s financial future so that its mission continues, uninterrupted, even in the face of challenges. You can set up multiple designated funds if you’d like to support more than one organization. You can even set up a designated fund to support a governmental unit, such as the parks department. A designated fund allows you to decide on the timing of the distributions from the fund, such as during the organization’s capital campaign or to support a specific program or initiative. You can serve as an advisor to the fund to recommend the timing and amount of grants to the supported organization, or you can appoint the board of directors of the community foundation to carry out this function according to your wishes.

And here’s a bonus! If you plan to give to an unrestricted fund, designated fund, or field-of-interest fund at the Community Foundation during your lifetime, and you’re over the age of 70 1/2, you can direct up to $105,000 each year from your IRA to the fund. This is called a “Qualified Charitable Distribution,” or “QCD.” Not only do QCD transfers count toward satisfying your Required Minimum Distributions if you’ve reached that age threshold, but you also avoid the income tax on those funds. Furthermore, the assets distributed through a QCD are no longer part of your estate upon your death, so you can avoid estate taxes, too.

If you’re a business owner, odds are you already give back to your community. Like many charitably minded people, your business likely sponsors events, makes in-kind donations, and donates cash to your favorite organizations. Many local business owners work with the Community Foundation to give back to the community where they built their businesses and developed lasting relationships with employees and customers.

The Community Foundation offers a variety of tools to help you build and grow your corporate philanthropy program, including:

1. Corporate Foundation: Establishing a corporate donor-advised fund helps you organize your company’s giving in a convenient, 501(c)(3)-qualified structure.

2. Executive Donor-Advised Fund: Offering this elevated employee benefit to your executive team can help activate your senior management’s community involvement.

3. Matching Gifts: The Community Foundation can help guide your team in creating and administering a program that matches employees’ volunteer time and dollars.

4. Employee Giving & Disaster Relief Campaigns: The Community Foundation’s tools to receive and process donations can help you and your employees respond quickly and meaningfully to disasters and other urgent community needs.

The Community Foundation is glad to help you deepen your business’s impact and connection to your community, customers, and employees by creating a philanthropy plan that supports causes that align with the wide range of your objectives.

The ENDOW Mississippi state income tax credit applies only to gifts made to new or existing endowment funds at the Community Foundation.

Minimum gift is $1,000 ($250 tax credit) Maximum gift is $500,000 ($125,000 tax credit) Deadline to submit application is September 30, 2024.

The allocation is limited per year on a first come-first service basis. Additional allocations may be available after October 1, 2024 but are not guaranteed.

Contact Stacye Trout To Learn More

Out In The Community

April Coffee & Conversations

Batesville, MS: Held at The Grace Place on 4/10/2024

Horn Lake, MS: Held at The DeSoto County Dream Center on 4/24/2024

Nesbit, MS: Held at The Northwest Mississippi REALTORS office on 4/30/2024

These gatherings provided a platform for attendees to discuss the pressing needs of their counties and share the impactful ways their organizations have been supporting the community. Aimed at fostering connections between nonprofits, the event series is designed to increase awareness of the services available in our service region.

Coffee and Conversation meetings give nonprofits an opportunity to share and work together in their communities. By collaborating, nonprofits can utilize available resources more effectively in their communities.

Stay tuned for more Coffee & Conversation Events listed below in our upcoming events. To RSVP or find out more, please contact Brenda Smith or Kara Dulaney.

Email Kara Dulaney
Email Brenda Smith


Kara Dulaney and Brenda Smith volunteer at Heartland Hands Food Pantry in Horn Lake, MS

Kara Dulaney, Brenda Smith, Stacye Trout, and Olivia Dunning volunteer at the DeSoto County Dream Center in Horn Lake, MS

The Box Project

The Box Project, a program of The Community Foundation, held a partnership meeting on 4/43/2024 in Clarksdale, MS.

The Box Project’s mission is to encourage and enrich the lives of families and individuals living in rural poverty by establishing meaningful relationships, promoting education, and offering material aid.

Participating in The Box Project’s â€śFamily Match Program” supports our mission by getting the increasing number of families living in rural poverty the help they need to break the cycle of poverty and build a more secure and promising future for generations to come.

Become a Sponsor
Join the Box Project Newsletter

Celebrating Our Volunteers

We're honored to collaborate with an incredible team of volunteers who dedicate their time to making the Crystal Ball Gala a reality each year. In appreciation of their hard work this year, we treated them to a memorable Memphis Riverboat Cruise.

Here's What We Have Coming:

Volunteer Opportunities

Follow the Maddox HUB on Facebook for more!

DeSoto Dream Center Events:

Backpack Giveaway (July 13) and Teacher Appreciation Week (May 8th)

The DeSoto Dream Center, is seeking volunteers for their backpack giveaway event at Latimer Lakes. Their goal is to distribute 1500 backpacks and provide a "shop around" experience for kids. Additionally, there will be a prayer tent to bless the backpacks and supplies.

Join the DeSoto Dream Center for Teacher Appreciation Week as they pack gifts for all staff members of the county office, schools, and bus drivers. We're looking for approximately 50 volunteers to assist on May 8th in packing these special bags.

For volunteering opportunities or to donate, please contact the Dream Center at 662.510.5900 or email

HUB on the Road Coffee & Conversation Events:

Leflore - May 3rd (location TBD)

Tate - May 8th (Baddour Center)

Tallahatchie - May 30th (TBD)

To RSVP or find out more about these events, please contact Brenda Smith or Kara Dulaney.

Email Kara Dulaney
Email Brenda Smith

Hunger Summit Events:

Clarksdale - May 15th (location TBD)

Hernando - June 21st (location TBD)

To RSVP or find out more about these events, please contact Brenda Smith or Kara Dulaney.

Email Kara Dulaney
Email Brenda Smith | 662.449.5002 | Text 662.719.1732

Established in 2002 with a generous grant from the Maddox Foundation

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