Tuesday, July 1, 2008

An Endowment to Keep the Goffs Cultural Center Operating in Perpetuity


After four years, thanks to you, we have beat our fundraising goal of $250,000!

by Dennis G. Casebier

Over the past couple of years we’ve been soliciting funds from you, our membership, to furnish and equip the new Library/Depot. Through your support and generosity we reached our goal of $250,000 some time ago. Thank you!

The grant we received for construction of the beautiful new building is of the reimbursement type. We contract for things and when the contractor submits an invoice to us, we must pay the invoice. Then we submit our own invoice to the California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE) for the amount paid to the various contractors and other expenses and in time we are reimbursed by CCHE. Of course, this implies we have large amounts of money on hand to pay the contractors so we can first pay them and then ask for reimbursement. We have been using the $250,000 raised from you for that purpose. Clearly, then, that $250,000 pops out at the end and can be used to furnish and equip the building as originally intended. This is all working well and we look forward to having the $250,000 to finish off the job at hand later this year and early next year. We’ll be acquiring tables, chairs, lamps, filing cabinets, shelving, computers, and many other items needed to properly fit out this library.

The creation of this new building presents us with fantastic opportunities to better serve the public and to more properly preserve our priceless collections into the future. To better capitalize on these opportunities, we are laying plans to ensure this facility will exist in perpetuity. To accomplish that, we need an endowment. The endowment we are structuring will be a large amount of money that sits in a financial institution and yields dividends. Those proceeds will then be used to manage and operate the facility here. The principal on the endowment will never be spent; only the income on that principal will be used to fund operations.

For example, a part of the revenue generated will be used to pay a stipend to someone to operate the Goffs Cultural Center. You know, like Jo Ann and I have been doing for 18 years, except we never got paid! As our age advances and health issues pile up, it has become clear even to us that we likely won’t be living forever and we won’t likely be able to stay here many more years. This becomes our biggest and most vital challenge—i.e., making provisions for this place to operate in perpetuity when Dennis and Jo Ann go off to their reward.

And so we ask you to dip into your pockets once again and join with us over the next several years while we accumulate money in an endowment fund. A special account is being opened and any monies donated for the endowment will be carefully segregated and deposited directly into that account. A fund manager will be selected and appointed by the Board of Directors of the MDHCA to oversee this resource. The endowment fund will also have a carefully defined mission statement and will be managed by a special Board of Directors. In addition to asking our membership to contribute to the fund, we will be seeking grants and support from private sources.

So the time to begin is now. This is the next step we must take to ensure that the great accomplishments of the MDHCA membership will exist forever in Goffs. There are several ways you can personally participate in this important initiative. You can simply write a check, payable to the MDHCA. Please write “Endowment Fund” in the memo space on your check.

Another completely different approach that many will find useful is to make a provision for the MDHCA Endowment Fund in your will. I have done that myself, and I have knowledge of several other members who have taken this step as well. These contributions will be invaluable to those providing leadership to the MDHCA and the Goffs Cultural Center in the years to come.

A receipt for tax purposes will be sent to each donor whenever a donation is made toward the Endowment Fund. There will also be special recognition in the Mojave Road Reports and through other methods yet to be developed.

Everyone who comes to Goffs and sees what has been accomplished by the MDHCA over the past 15 years is amazed. Frankly, I am amazed myself. This endowment will ensure this success continues.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this new initiative, please contact Dennis G. Casebier by phone at 760-733-4848 or email at goffs@eastmojave.net.