Meaningful philanthropic moments at River Bluff Community Foundation

River Bluff presents a check to Northend Outreach MinistriesWhen River Bluff Community Foundation Affiliate Advisory Board Chair Carol Machael received the “most wonderful” email from the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend, she turned that message into a matching gift opportunity for an area nonprofit organization.

“We had been regularly investing money in the Community Impact Fund, and last year were told we could give money from our earnings,” she said. “Northend Outreach Ministries was an organization our leadership had identified as doing good work—and they were in need of a kitchen renovation.”

Northend Outreach Ministries, comprised of First Congregational Church, Community Congregational Church, Christ Episcopal Church, and Lyon’s Methodist Church, works to assure that no child goes hungry, even during the summer months when school lunches are not available.

“We offered them a grant of $1,000 if they could raise an additional $3,000. They just weren’t sure they could raise that additional money, so we offered the grant if they could raise $2,000,” Machael added. But inspired by the challenge gift from River Bluff, Northend Outreach Ministries not only raised the $2,000 required to receive the gift—they exceeded it, raising $4,000 in a very short period of time.

It is philanthropic moments like this that make the work of River Bluff so important, and meaningful, Machael said. As a co-founder of River Bluff Community Foundation, Machael and her advisory board have quietly, creatively and diligently been building up the fund’s assets since forming the foundation just over 10 years ago.

“There were many here who wanted to do something to help people in Clinton and around the region leave a legacy in this community,” she said. “The Community Foundation of the Great River Bend was an important partner to help us get started. We wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for them.”

River Bluff was formed in 2005 to ensure the community’s charitable programs were supported now—and in the future. Today, their work goes beyond helping residents establish endowments for the community. It is true philanthropy—love of humankind—at its finest, blending giving with recognition programs that lift up people and organizations doing important, on-the-ground work to transform the region.

The Caring Award, for instance, recognizes volunteers for the contributions they make to help others. Volunteers are nominated by nonprofits, and honorees are given a cash award of up to $1,000 to donate back to the organization they serve. “It is a celebration of the gifts people here at home make through their time and talent,” Machael added.

Machael is quick to note that all of River Bluff’s work is made possible because she has a dedicated, diverse team of advisors from across Clinton County who bring their good ideas to the table and also make their own personal commitments to growing the foundation’s endowment. “As a group, we are inspired by our community—and are grateful to be able to create a legacy today that will be here tomorrow, and forever.” 


The River Bluff Community Foundation is one 13 Affiliates that are component funds of the Community Foundation of the Great River.

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