The Western Planning Resources Endowment Fund

The Western Planner is thankful for its many faithful readers and supporters. The WPR Board would like to let WP readers know about how WPR is planning for the future of The Western Planner.

On January 17, 2004, the WPR Board of Directors conducted its annual winter retreat in Missoula, Montana. A major agenda item for the meeting was an update to the organization’s Strategic Plan, originally developed in 1994. Within the Strategic Plan, a major issue discussed by the board was the financial stability of the organization.

In October of 2003, WPR Emeritus Board member Robb McCracken contacted several current board members about the establishment of an endowment or trust fund, to provide a permanent source of revenue for the WPR organization. Robb had several detailed conversations with WPR Treasurer Ken Waido about establishing the endowment fund, contributing, and eventually committing some of his to estate to WPR as his personal legacy to the organization. Robb was hopeful that his gesture would inspire other planners, conservationists, planning board members, foundations, and consulting firms to contribute as well.

The WPR Board discussed the idea of an endowment fund at its summer meeting at the WP Conference in Missoula, Montana. At the conference, the board voted unanimously to establish the WPR Endowment Fund as one method to bring financial stability to the organization in line with the Strategic Plan’s objectives.

The Endowment Fund works similar to other endowment/trust funds where the principal is not touched, but the interest, dividends, or other returns on investment can be used to help support the organization. Since the organization’s primary purpose is to serve planners in the West and The Western Planner journal is the organization’s primary networking tool, it is expected that proceeds from the fund will be used primarily to help support the journal. While the fund was small at the beginning and has grown slowly, the WPR Board hopes that over time the fund will grow and become a stable source of ongoing revenue.

The announcement of the creation of the Endowment Fund was made at the Missoula WP Conference and several individuals pledged to make contributions in response to Robb’s gesture. Since 2004, several personal contributions have been given. In addition, the WPR Board holds a silent auction at the annual conference and the auction proceeds go to the endowment fund.

Western Planning Resources is an IRS approved 501C-3 non-profit organization; therefore, contributions are tax deductible.

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