On Monday, April 9th, during a regular meeting at the Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck, the Rhinebeck Rotary Club featured a presentation on The Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley by its President and Chief Executive Officer, March Gallagher. Ms. Gallagher is responsible for overall leadership, including donor services, grant making, and the care and custody of The Foundations’ assets. Ms. Gallagher is an attorney who also serves on the board of The Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation and on the Dutchess County Economic Development Advisory Council.
Founded in 1969, the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley is known for its vital mission – “connecting people who care with causes that matter.” The Community Foundations does so primarily by supervising funds for individual donors, managing endowments, and awarding grants. Ms. Gallagher emphasized The Community Foundations’ work with area Rotary clubs to help distribute monies to worthy local causes. For example, The Rhinebeck Rotary Club Fund, established in 2006, gave dollars last year, through The Community Foundations, to Northern Dutchess Hospital, the Shelter Box initiative, and various other local not-for-profit organizations. “Rotary clubs are the super-volunteers of the community, its backbone,” said Ms. Gallagher.
In 2017, half of The Community Foundations’ grants went to health and human services projects, 21% to educational scholarships, and 16% to arts and cultural organizations. The latter distribution signified a decrease from previous funding. “We also do a lot of granting to food organizations like Community Food Network to feed people in need,” said Ms. Gallagher and she emphasized The Community Foundations’ FeedHV.org app, which matches restaurants, farms, and other food donors with potential recipients. The Community Foundations also provides not-for-profits with technical assistance and advises individuals who are concerned about planned giving, estate planning, and working with a favorite charity to build an endowment.
The Rhinebeck Rotary Club meets at the Beekman Arms on Mondays at 12:15 pm throughout the year and is a humanitarian organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of others through local, national, and international service projects. Weekly meetings typically feature speakers who cover a variety of human-interest topics. Guests are welcome to attend and for information on becoming a member, to reserve a speaker’s spot at an upcoming meeting, or to attend a meeting to hear a specific speaker, please call Lou Trapani at 845-876-3088, ext. 14.