The community foundation acts as a driving force to develop a permanent endowment, to assess and to respond to emerging and changing community needs, to provide a vehicle and service for donors with varied interest and levels of giving, and to serve as a resource catalyst for charitable activities in the community.
Stewart Martin and Jim Harrell in the late 90’s had established a foundation in Cotulla, the Brush Country & South Texas Community Foundation, with an initial donation from Rhoda Baylor, Jim’s mother. In 2002 they realized that it needed a broader base so they approached their former childhood friend from Cotulla, TAMIU President Ray M. Keck for his help. With assistance from TAMIU Institutional Advancement Vice President Candy Hein, a steering committee was created to join them with the endeavor: Clayton Baum, Tony Trevino, Joaquin Romero, Mario Gonzalez, and Nancy de Anda were added to the orginal group of four. The Texas Center for Border Economics and Enterprise Development at TAMIU under the direction of Dr. Michael Patrick and assistance of Richard Perez conducted a feasibility study of the philanthropic interest of this community and surrounding area.
With overwhelming positive results from the study, a Board of Directors was named and the Laredo Area Community Foundation was born in 2004. The Foundation became a member of the U.S. – Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership that assisted with operational and challenge grants. Thus, the Laredo Area Community Foundation diversified their leadership to represent our area, advanced issues beyond their original agendas, and mobilized a broader range of community assets.
The original Board of Directors included: Irving Greenblum, President; Nancy de Anda, Vice President; Richard Perez, Secretary; and Mario Gonzalez, Treasurer. Other board members were Alfonso Cuellar, Javier de Anda, William B. Green, James B. Harrell, Candy Hein, Barbara Kazen, Dr. Ray M. Keck, Stewart Martin, Joaquin Romero, Jr, Hank Sames, Robert H. Summers and Anthony Trevino Jr.
An office was established with Executive Director Patricia Guajardo and in 2005 a reception was held to kick off the inaugural donations and recognize Laredo’s local donors, Irving and Shirley Greenblum and Hank and Elizabeth Sames. When Elizabeth Sames became President in 2009 to the end of her term in 2015, she reorganized the office and ran its day to day operations on a voluntary basis. Thus, the foundation grew from $1.2 million to $8.9 million. Today, the Laredo Area Community Foundation is a strong viable institution that has positive and powerful impact on this community and its surrounding area and its mission has remained constant.
The Foundation’s primary function is to make local charitable giving easy. Donors are able to make gifts without the minutia of accounting, investing and disbursement of funds as well as filing IRS tax returns. The Foundation makes sure that the donor’s wishes are followed and provide services such as scholarship application review, grant review, etc. Donors receive personalized service with the greatest deduction rate allowed by IRS, plus the incomparable satisfaction of helping others in need.
The LACF embraces the highest standards so that each donor can be confident that funds invested with LACF will be used for the purpose intended.
The Laredo Area Community Foundation’s board of Directors is made up of well-respected individuals and South Texas civic and community leaders who represent a diverse range of views, skills, backgrounds, and experiences. The all-volunteer LACF board members wholeheartedly believe in the Foundations mission and have a keen desire to affect positive change in their communities through charitable giving. The dynamic group of volunteers provide financial stewardship that drives the success of the LACF. They work throughout the year to stay informed about the needs in their community so that they can better connect donors to the services the LACF can provide.
In 2004, with the assistance of Synergos Institute, the Laredo Area Community Foundation partnered with BPP. Synergos assisted foundations along the U.S.- Mexico border looking to make an impact on their community with challenge grants and operational funds. To date, they have supported initiatives totally more than $15 million while mobilizing over $3 million in local philanthropy.
BBP and the LACF have had a close and strong relationship since the early 2000s when it began working with foundations along the border. LACF was one of the original five foundations assisted by BPP and Synergos. It continues to…
Andy Carey, BPP Executive Director, has been an effective participant in LACF activities such as the 10th Anniversary celebrated last year at Gringo Barrio held at Siete Banderas. Past president Elizabeth Sames served on the BPP Board of Directors from 2011-2014. She was also panel speaker at the San Antonio held conference for U.S.-Mexico Philanthropy entitled Building for a more prosperous future. BPP perseveres in addressing issues of prosperity, equity and opportunity along both sides of the Border.
Welcome to our web page. We hope it is easier for you to learn about us and help you decide on the type of donation you would like to make.
For our first-time visitors, the Laredo Area Community Foundation (LACF) is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the philanthropic development of Laredo and the surrounding area. We help donors create unique, lasting legacies to achieve their charitable goals for the benefit of their community. The LACF is second-to-none as a giving resource, as it can connect donors to any philanthropic endeavor in the Laredo area, while at the same time promoting that endeavor through numerous outreach efforts. We host fundraising and awareness events throughout the year, all dedicated to promoting our funds and the charitable aims they support. We also handle all of the administrative and accounting burdens for our donors, who never have to worry whether their philanthropy is being carried out prudently.
Designated-endowed, donor-advised, scholarship, or field-of-interest funds can all be created in as little as one in-office meeting with us or right here on our secure portal. Your fund can begin with a single gift or a specified amount for a defined number of years. Your gift can be for any charitable purpose: health, education, religion, arts & culture, and more. If creating a new fund isn’t in your plans, please feel free to make your gift to an existing fund with LACF.
Let us provide the guidance, and stewardship that will make it easier for you to support your favorite cause forever. Contact us today!
Keith W. Franklin, President
Our volunteer Board is comprised of local leaders with diverse backgrounds, selected for their experiences and commitment to giving in both their professional and personal lives.
As a 501(c)(3) public charitable organization, we take pride in providing clear, transparent information about our financial position, investment management, performance and fees. We are committed to prudent fund distributions and long-term investing so that your charitable gifts will go further in our community.
Calendar and Fiscal Year 2016
As a community foundation, the Laredo Area Community Foundation is committed to investing the funds entrusted to us prudently, providing a return that will preserve and grow assets while generating a consistent stream of revenue for grantmaking.
We are committed to accountability and transparency in all our activities. In that pursuit, we:
Our primary investment objective is to achieve a risk-adjusted conservative annual return, through appreciation and income, equal to or greater than the rate of inflation and administrative expenses. We seek to maximize our investors’ returns within the constraints of acceptable risk levels.
Two notable differences set the LACF apart from other investment vehicles. First, we are a nonprofit organization and do not build a profit margin into our fee structure. Second, our returns on investment activity flow through directly to the South Texas community in the form of grants to other nonprofits, magnifying your gift.