Give to the Future through a Discretionary Fund
Michael Schmitz was born and raised in Wisconsin and has lived in the state his entire life. All his education was completed in Wisconsin which included the University of Wisconsin – Madison where he met his late wife, Jeanne. They knew after their first date; they had found their life’s mate and were married the day after graduation. They spent 62 wonderful years together before Jeanne passed away in 2019.
In 1999 after a 40-year career as a banking executive, it was time for Mike to retire and for him and Jeanne to build their home in Door County. They built their home out of Door County beach stone modeled after the homes found on the shores of the Swedish Island of Gotland. The first thing Mike did after retiring to the peninsula was become a legal resident. He didn’t want to be a seasonal resident but wanted to be part of the community. Mike quickly got involved with town of Liberty Grove, Midsummer’s Music, the Peninsula Music Festival, and the Land Trust to name a few.
Mike’s work in the community helped him understand the social needs and hurdles of year ’round residents. He believes that those who are able, owe it to the people of Door County to support our youth, education, and senior programing. Also recognizing that Door County is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, Mike is passionate about supporting the charities that are stewarding the natural treasures of Door County. “This support is vital to preserve what we love about Door County so much: The people and the natural beauty. Jeanne would say, “Door County is as close as you can get to heaven without actually dying,” and I wholeheartedly agree.”
By incorporating the Community Foundation into their estate planning Mike and Jeanne’s love for Door County will continue forevermore. Included in their plans is a gift to a Discretionary Fund in which the causes are selected by the donor, but the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors is entrusted with the selection of the specific charities that receive grants from the Fund each year. Those moneys are distributed back into the community as Advancement Grants and Sustainability Grants.
Discretionary Funds are a source of revenue to address a future community need that we cannot even imagine today. Twenty-five years ago, there was no such thing as an automated external defibrillator. Laptop computers weighed 25 pounds and were so expensive few people could afford them. Most Americans had never heard of autism. Yet the Door County Community Foundation’s Board of Directors has made grants from its Discretionary Funds to support work in all these areas in recent years.
A gift to a Discretionary Fund is a gift to the future. We don’t know what tomorrow may bring, but we can be confident that the Community Foundation will be there to address tomorrow’s needs and opportunities, whatever they may be. If you’d like, you can also endow your gift and it will provide a permanent source of income to be granted to those organizations which are truly making a difference in Door County.
“We wanted to make sure the organizations we care about, and this Peninsula, will still be the beneficiary of our love after I am gone. I need the Door County Community Foundation to fulfill these wishes. Over my decades in Door County, I have been impressed with the work of the Community Foundation, and I am confident in their capacity to continue the outstanding work that has been done to make this Peninsula that treasured place that it is.”-Michael Schmitz
Discretionary Funds are a true gift to the future.
Discretionary Funds are a source of revenue to address a future community need that we cannot even imagine today. Twenty-five years ago there was no such thing as an automated external defibrillator. Laptop computers weighed 25 pounds and were so expensive few people could afford them. And most Americans had never heard of autism. Yet the Door County Community Foundation’s Board of Directors has made grants from its Discretionary Funds to support work in all of these areas in recent years.
Discretionary Funds support the causes selected by the donor, but trust the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors to select the specific charities that receive grants from the Fund each year. Those moneys are distributed back into the community as Advancement Grants and Sustainability Grants.
Think about how much of a problem invasive species has become over the last 25 years. “I remember when we found garlic mustard for the first time,” says Coggin Heeringa, Executive Director of Crossroads at Big Creek. “There were these two or three plants with cute little white flowers. At the time we believed the best way to handle it was to let nature take its course.” Today we know better. And because of the Discretionary Funds created years ago, the Door County Community Foundation is able to support invasive species eradication and research at places like Crossroads.
A gift to a Discretionary Fund is a gift to the future. We don’t know what tomorrow may bring, but we can be confident that the Community Foundation will be there to address tomorrow’s needs and opportunities, whatever they may be.
If you’d like, you can also endow your gift and it will provide a permanent source of income to be granted to those organizations which are truly making a difference in Door County. Please consider donating today, or in your estate plans, to these Community Impact Funds.
For Good Forever Fund
We simply cannot know what issues or opportunities the future will bring, but we can be confident that the Community Foundation will be there to address it because of the For Good Forever Fund – the general unrestricted endowment for Door County. We’re here For Good. And we’re here Forever. This permanent pool of money is a flexible resource to fund our Sustainability and Advancement Grants, invest in community projects, and support future programs and initiatives of the Community Foundation.
The “arts” describe a broad range of creative activities which can stimulate thought and inspire the soul. Therein lays the purpose of the Community Foundation’s Arts Fund. The Community Foundation supports creative charitable activities in Door County that use the arts to enrich the community and touch the lives of the people of Door County.
Children & Youth Fund
If the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams, then there is no greater gift to a child than to nurture their ability to believe in their own potential and promise. The Community Foundation supports charities that are working to ensure a brighter future for the community’s children – whether it be alleviating their burdens today or helping them realize the opportunities of tomorrow.
Education must go beyond traditional schooling and formal education. It should include informal modes of learning and extend beyond traditional settings. It must be integrated into the home and throughout the community – and education is not limited to children. The Community Foundation believes that learning is a lifelong pursuit – and nurtures its incorporation into the many aspects of life in Door County.
Door County Green Fund
Door County is blessed with an abundance of natural resources. From our lakeshore to the wetlands, our orchards to the meadows, the open spaces and our rural roads – there is something about the beauty of this place that keeps us here or calls us back each year. The Green Fund supports land acquisition projects in our community and also invests in environmental education, funds land preservation, eradicates invasive species, and supports other types of “green” projects.
Health and Human Needs Fund
It’s difficult to appreciate the incredible beauty and quality of life here in Door County if the very basic needs of your life are not being met. The Community Foundation supports charities that are working to aid those who live in the shadows of society – those whose health or human service needs are not being adequately addressed.
Healthy Water Door County
Door County’s unique geography makes our water vulnerable. As a peninsula situated on the Niagara Escarpment, our thin soil layer, combined with the vertical and horizontal fracturing common in our bedrock, makes protecting our water a priority. Healthy Water Door County invests in initiatives that research water quality issues, educate policy makers and the community, and mitigate the threats to our water.
Historic Preservation Fund
Working in partnership with the Clifford and Clara Herlache Heritage Foundation, the Community Foundation’s Historic Preservation Fund supports the appreciation, enhancement and preservation of historical landmarks and the cultural heritage of Door County, Wisconsin.
Women’s Fund of Door County
The Women’s Fund of Door County builds, enriches, and nurtures the lives of women and girls through collective wisdom and philanthropy. The Women’s Fund invests in educational opportunities for women and girls and supports arts programs which enrich their souls. It makes grants to promote healthy activities for young girls and to provide support for seniors. It supports efforts to improve women’s health and invests in initiatives that promote equality. Because when she thrives, we all prosper. Please note that the Women’s Fund is the only Community Impact Fund that is NOT a part of the Sustainability Grants or Advancement Grants processes. The Women’s Fund has a separate application that can be found on the Women’s Fund website.
To make a gift to any of these Discretionary Funds today, or in your estate plans, talk with your estate planning professional, contact the Door County Community Foundation or give online to an exsisting fund.