Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Foundation Name-Change

Human Support Services first opened its doors in 1973 as a private, non-profit agency serving Monroe County residents with disabilities of many types. In 1981 the Human Support Services Board of Directors and a group of concerned Monroe County leaders recognized that there was an ongoing need for financial support to fund the programs offered by the agency. They then established the Mental Health Endowment Foundation in order to provide a method of receiving donations that would benefit the programs and projects of Human Support Services. The Mental Health Endowment Foundation was founded as a non-profit tax-exempt corporation under IRS code 501(c)(3) and Illinois law. Gifts to it were tax deductible to the full extent of federal and state law.

Since 1981, the foundation has grown slowly but steadily and has provided a stream of regular financial gifts to Human Support Services. Donations from hundreds of community members and area businesses have added to the fund balance from a variety of appeals and fundraising events. All throughout its existence, however, there have been questions from donors about the name, Mental Health Endowment Foundation. Many have asked for assurance that their gifts would support Human Support Services specifically and not go to a general community fund that supported multiple community agencies.

To end the confusion, the Board of Directors of the foundation has recently approved a name-change for the foundation. The appropriate papers have been filed with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office and from November 24, 2009 on the foundation will be renamed the Human Support Services Foundation. All other aspects of the foundation remain unchanged. As before, the mission of the foundation is to provide ongoing financial gifts to Human Support Services.

We hope that the new name, the Human Support Services Foundation, helps cement for donors the direct relationship between Human Support Services and the foundation. We will strive to see continued growth in the foundation and a commensurate increase in the gifts that are made to support Human Support Services programs.