Charitable organizations in the midstate marked the end of an era today as an influential charitable foundation's final gifts were presented.
In 2006, The Whitaker Foundation gave its remaining funds to The Foundation for Enhancing Communities to hold for seven years against liabilities with any of its projects. At the end of that time, the remainder was to be split, with two-thirds going to Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts and one-third remaining at TFEC itself for use as unrestricted funds.
The deadline having passed, Whitaker Center has been awarded approximately $2.6 million and TFEC approximately $1.3 million.
Janice Black, president and CEO of TFEC, said TFEC plans to use its share to provide grants to local nonprofits working to solve immediate needs in the Central Pennsylvania counties of Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lebanon, Perry and northern York.
Michael Hanes, president and CEO of Whitaker Center, said the gift will go toward the center’s 10-year, $25 million capital campaign, which will conclude in 2014 and, prior to this gift, had raised about $17.5 million. The center had not known this gift was coming, he said, and the timing is fortuitous.
With annual operating revenues consistently running $750,000 to $1,500,000 short, Whitaker Center has been depending on its endowment and focusing on trimming costs, particularly energy costs. Hanes said energy costs are down about $300,000 a year from a high of $1 million a year and he expects to see them drop about $200,000 more as final upgrades are completed.
However, Hanes said, the center expects that a strong endowment will continue to be vital to its success. The endowment stands at about $6 million, Hanes said, and the center plans to devote the rest of the campaign to bolstering it.
Over the life of the center, Hanes said, The Whitaker Foundation’s gifts to it have totaled just over $16 million.