New Club Inspires Philanthropy

New Club Inspires Philanthropy

Written by Craig Pearson (The Windsor Star)

New club aims to have 100 people donate total of $2.5 million

It’s an exclusive club with a twist — not about networking but giving. The newly launched Inspiration 100 seeks to assemble a group of philanthropists who commit to giving $25,000 over 10 years for a total of $2.5 million.The brainchild of the WindsorEssex Community Foundation, the Inspiration 100 will help the community many ways — in perpetuity. The $2.5 million will help boost the Community Foundation’s endowment fund, which already stands at more than $12 million and provides grants every year to a wide range of local charitable efforts. “The benefit of this will be huge,” said Marty Solcz, past chair of the WindsorEssex Community Foundation who came up with the idea. “There are infinite possibilities.”

The Inspiration 100 concept is simple: members agree to donate $2,500 a year for 10 years, or $20,000 up front. The group then meets every year to decide how to give out the money. The capital will remain in the endowment but the interest on investments — Solcz said the Community Foundation averages about six per cent growth a year — is available to boost local charities. Solcz hopes to franchise the concept to other community foundations — 195-strong across Canada — which would share the fun and even bring in a little more locally. Solcz’s goal for Inspiration 100 stretches further than just raising money in a unique way. He hopes to increase awareness about the WindsorEssex Community Foundation, which has a strange problem for something that has been doling out cash for three decades: it’s not that well-known. “Most community foundations have the same problem we do, which is people often don’t know about us,” said Solcz, chairman of the Solcz Group which includes Valiant Corp. “So we believe if we can get 100 people intimately involved with the foundation through Inspiration 100, they will spread the good word about us.”

Gabrielle Smith/The Windsor Star
Ross Clarke, left, and Marty Solcz show Inspiration 100 merchandise

In 1983, Mayor Bert Weeks, Charles Clark Sr., and Clifford Hatch Sr., established Heritage Windsor, the beginning of the local Community Foundation. Originally, the philanthropic group focused on improving the riverfront, though charitable funding soon grew.Besides providing grants, the WindsorEssex Community Foundation runs local initiatives such as Random Act of Kindness Day and Vital Signs, which takes the pulse of the community. Inspiration 100 is the latest do-good effort. “There are people out there who would like to be part of a group that does big things,” said Solcz, whose family has a history of philanthropy. “With Inspiration 100 you get a new community. You will be warmly welcomed into the company of 99 other like-minded individuals who have philanthropic ideas and want to do it a lot bigger than they could themselves.”

When interest on investment is factored in, Solcz hopes the Inspiration 100 money will grow to $3 million or $3.5 million in 10 years. Solcz has worked on his big idea since last year, when he first started making presentations on it. Inspiration 100 was only officially launched a week ago, however, but already has 12 members. One of those is Ross Clarke, owner of Clarke Surveyors, who liked the idea instantly.“I heard about it through a presentation Marty Solcz did at Rotary 1918,” Clarke said. “I was impressed with what they wanted to do. And Marty should be congratulated for making it happen. It’s a great initiative.”

If you would like to be a part of this exclusive opportunity to support our community, or would like more information about the Foundation, please contact us today at 519-255-6572 or e-mail info@wecf.ca

Posted by Kyrsten

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