With so much changing in our world today, it’s more important than ever to work together—and locally—to truly make a difference.
That’s the mindset guiding Lisa and Chris Gavin and their new donor-advised fund at the Galesburg Community Foundation. With a keen understanding of the important role they can play in supporting the community they’ve lived in and loved for decades, the Gavins were inspired to start the Gavin Family Foundation Fund after realizing how many opportunities living in a rural community affords.
“There are a lot of advantages to living in rural America, especially in western Illinois,” said Chris. “The school systems are great, truly knowing your neighbor is a blessing, and so is the sense of community and cooperation you have here.”
Chris, a veteran community banker from Warren County, got involved in community service early in his career. Over the years, he’s served on numerous boards and charities that opened his eyes to the potential of giving—for everyone. “People think that you have to have a large gift to start a fund, but that’s just not true. Anyone can start with a smaller amount and add to it, and the Community Foundation provides a turnkey solution to set that up. At heart, it’s an organization with such a high degree of integrity and a great mission, which makes it easy for anyone to get behind,” said Chris.
As a member of the Community Foundation’s board of directors, Lisa is no stranger to the power of philanthropy. Among the Gavins’ many goals, Lisa hopes the Gavin Family Foundation Fund will help the community recognize the power of cooperation.
“It’s been great to see the Community Foundation bring together so many organizations throughout Knox and Warren Counties with their initiatives. Thanks to them, there’s now more cooperation between our communities than ever before,” Lisa said. “I’m a huge believer in the power of a regional approach, in leveraging our resources together, and in the work the Community Foundation has done to unite us all,” she added.
Though the Gavins are just beginning their donor-advised fund journey, they’re looking forward to seeing how it evolves, as well as being a catalyst within the region for a refreshed perspective on philanthropy and, hopefully, new levels of cooperation.
“This past year, we’ve all learned the true meaning of helping others, and ourselves,” said Lisa. “We started this fund with that in mind, and we know that by working together across town and county lines, we can all be successful.”