Ranked in the bottom 5 percent of median income in the U.S., Webster County
stood in dire need of community development. A community development
foundation would help generate funds to support local projects and programs.
The problem was there was no such foundation in the county. The Webster County
Economic Development Authority (EDA) was determined to create one.
The Webster EDA completed a Philanthropy Index to get an objective measurement
of its rural community’s financial resources and potential for creating a charitable
fund. The results looked bleak. Even so, a determined core of individuals pressed on.
Working for months with organizations across the state, the determined Webster
County citizens successfully launched the Community Fund under the auspices of
the Beckley Area Foundation.
The newly-formed Webster County Community Fund (WCCF) still faced two critical
needs. Local organizers needed to learn the operating principles of community
fund development. Also, the newly-created WCCF needed to communicate the
organization’s progress and attract new supporters.
Support from the Flex-E-Grant program helped provide the solutions:
- Begin the ongoing process of training local
citizens in the precepts of community foundation
development and maintenance. Enable the WCCF
to ensure its survival by setting up the necessary
processes and procedures
- Educate supporters and potential donors on how
the WCCF can help the community they love and
help them fulfill their philanthropic desires
WCCF achievements to date include:
- Two new annual scholarships for Webster County
High School students
- Growing endowment resources that enable WCCF
to fund grants for projects such as safety equipment
for local fire and police departments, exercise and
fitness equipment for local schools and fitness
facilities, playground equipment, beautification
projects and assistance for the needy