HCF has grown to just over $1 million in assets over the last decade. It is made up of more than 20 individual donor foundations and a general foundation. Since making its first donation in 2000 to the Hudson High School All-Night Graduation Party, now an annual donation, the HCF has awarded grants totaling more than $115,000 throughout the community while providing donors a variety of options in which to give back to the community.
“We all could see the good the various foundations like Andersen’s and the Phipps can accomplish, but there is a limit to what they can do. We saw the Hudson Community Foundation as a way to give local people a chance to give back to Hudson by helping those who help the community,” said retired First National Bank President Ken Heiser, who served as HCF’s first president.
The foundation got started with a grant from the Bremer Foundation that would give the HCF $20,000 if it raised $10,000. First National Bank donated $10,000 and Heiser, along with others including past presidents Sam Cari and Susie Gilbert, raised the matching funds and then some to create HCF.
“With the foundation, everybody can be a philanthropist. You don’t need to have $50,000 or $100,000 to begin making a difference, and you don’t have to worry about all the paperwork and management of it. You can start with something far less and build it over time. And it allows for generations of a family to get directly involved in a legacy of giving,” said Heiser.
Gilbert says Hudson is lucky to have so many non-profit groups that improve the quality of life for everyone in the community. “It is wonderful to be able to be a resource for these organizations even if our donations aren’t as large as we would like, but I believe they make a difference. And over the next 20 to 30 years, I hope we will be able to make much more of an impact as the foundation grows.”
Current Board President, Jay Griggs believes that as more and more Hudson families become familiar with the HCF, they will want to be part of it. “Our dream is to surpass $20 million in the foundation so we can give out $1 million in grants each year to benefit the community. It took us 10 years to get to the first million, but from here on I expect the rate of growth will increase as more local citizens find out how we can help them create a legacy and make a difference by giving something back to their community.”