Larry Combs and Rodney Dillman

Larry Combs, Foundation Treasurer

Tuesday morning with attendance improving Larry Combs and Rodney Dillman gave our Club an update on the history, status, and relationship between the Club and the Foundation.

As Larry, Foundation Treasurer, described, ‘The Kiwanis Foundation of Topsail Island Area, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, was formed by the Club several years ago as a way to invest monies from fund raising projects into the stock market. ‘


History: Planning for the Foundation started in late 1990’s with incorporation approved in September of 2001. Tax exempt status was approved/granted by IRS in June of 2002. The first directors of the Foundation were James E. (Jim) Williams, Stephen (Steve) Walter and Allen E. Doyle. The specific purposes for the Foundation as per the Articles of Incorporation were (i) the award of scholarships, (ii) needy children and their families, (iii) disaster relief,  (iv) Boys and Girls Home, (v) sponsored Youth Clubs and,  (vi) service projects of Kiwanis International and the Carolinas District. More recently, purpose (i) scholarship awards has been the focus of the Foundation awards.

In the past, the Foundation has been supported by proceeds from fundraisers including the ‘Spring Fling,’ boat raffles, kayak raffles, a dinner and dance party, reverse raffles and sale of debit cards to name a few activities. In addition to fundraisers, the Club has a tradition of members donating $1 dollar to the Foundation each year based on member age (birthday) and member anniversary (years married), if applicable.


Status: A goal of $350,000 dollars was set so that prevailing interest rates of return would serve as the major source of funding for Foundation awards without the need to dip into the invested principal. This goal was reached several years ago. However, as Larry explained a 501(c)(3) non-profit must continue to raise funds actively to keep the 501(c)(3) status. Given the size of our investment, Larry suggested that we need to average about $5,000 dollars/yr from fund raising to meet this IRS requirement.


Foundation – Club Relationship

Rodney Dillman, Foundation President

Rodney, Foundation President, described the initial investment goal of the Foundation was growth during the period 2008-2019. Now the Foundation Board has adopted a new strategy going forward of capital preservation so that only 20% of the fund is in the stock market. In addition the target is to maintain at least $300,000 of capital in the future, although presently we have a net worth of just over $371,000 dollars as of 2020 year end.

Rodney re-emphasized Larry’s comment about continuing to raise funds through fundraisers and donations. It has not been possible to do much fundraising in 2020 due to the COVID-19 epidemic so donations are critical. Through the end of 2020 the Foundation had received $7,500 dollars in donations; of that amount one very generous member donated $5,000! Birthday and anniversary donations accounted for just over $2,800 dollars, but in past years was almost twice this figure. Again, COVID has impacted the Foundation and Club for that matter, due to lack of member participation and consequentially, diligence in making birthday and anniversary donations.

Rodney also talked about fundraising for Club service and activity needs along with Foundation fundraising by making a distinction between the two very different but common goal entities. He mentioned that the Club should have separate fundraisers for service and activity needs, so that the boundary between the Foundation and Club does not become murky.

In 2020, the Foundation was pleased to award $11,000 dollars to graduating seniors at Dixon High School and the Boys and Girls Home for college expenses. Keeping our 501(c)(3) non-profit status continues to be paramount for our scholarship program.

If you would like to make a birthday or anniversary donation or a personal donation to the Foundation, please follow this link for giving.