4-H Foundation Endowment Funds Reaching Many Missouri Counties

County endowment funds created by the Missouri 4-H Foundation have had a significant impact on many Missouri counties within the last year. Currently, the Foundation manages six county endowment funds benefitting Barton, Callaway, Dade, Henry, Pike and St. Charles counties.

An endowment fund is an account that is invested to provide financial support, either unrestricted or for a specific purpose such as a scholarship or 4-H program. Endowments help to establish long-term financial stability by providing a sustainable source of income over the years, Missouri 4-H Foundation Director Rachel Augustine explains.

To encourage the growth of this source of funding on the local level, the Missouri 4-H Foundation has created a $25,000 matching pool that will be used to match gifts to the county endowments. Already, this matching campaign has made a difference in helping to grow these endowments, said Augustine, who has seen firsthand the positive effects of this funding option.

"Our goal is to encourage more counties to think beyond their small annual fundraisers and offer donors a way to make a significant impact on their local 4-H programs by supporting an endowment fund that will live on forever," Augustine said.

The money can be used for anything that supports 4-H activities in that county, including the salary and benefits of county 4-H faculty and staff.

Sean Eberle, a county engagement educator for 4-H in Callaway County, has already seen the benefits to his county's programs.

"We've grown our fund to around $27,000 with donations from 4-H community alumni and our partners in the county because we were taking advantage of the matching funds," he said.

Endowment benefits can be substantial and long lasting — helping local 4-H programs establish a culture of philanthropy in their communities and giving them a solid foundation upon which to grow local support, Augustine said.

The matching campaign further demonstrates the Missouri 4-H Foundation's commitment to supporting 4-H members throughout the state.

"Our Missouri 4-H Board of Trustees is committed to supporting the growth of 4-H at the local level, which is why they have chosen to dedicate funding for this matching campaign," she said.

All gifts that were made to a qualified county 4-H endowment fund on Giving Tuesday 2021 and Mizzou Giving Day 2022 were matched by the Missouri 4-H Foundation.

"The success we saw with the matching campaign in our first year led to the board's decision to continue the campaign into 2023," Augustine added.

By supporting a county 4-H endowment fund at the Missouri 4-H Foundation, donors are helping 4-H programs thrive in the communities they care most about, Augustine said.

To learn more about county endowments and the Missouri 4-H Foundation matching program, contact Missouri 4-H Foundation Director Rachel Augustine.