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The Common Good Community Foundation has funded Horses Unlimited three times; this photo was taken in its corral behind Cuccia's near Graeagle. The foundation helped to fund the fencing needed for the corral. Photo submitted

Local foundation tops $100,000 in giving

A local philanthropic organization is celebrating its sixth birthday, but many in Plumas County don’t even know that it exists.

“People still don’t know what we do,” said Colleen McKeown, founder and president of the Common Good Community Foundation.

What they do is give grants of up to $1,500 to organizations in Plumas County. To date the foundation has given more than $100,000 to local entities — 49 in all.

“We try to stress that we are geographically wide ranging — across the entire county, and we give in a wide variety of areas,” McKeown said.

The foundation also operates on a shoestring budget, designating just 5 percent for costs, such as supplies, postage or accounting services. This allows 95 percent of funds to go directly to grantees.

“We don’t have many expenses,” McKeown said. “We run it out of my house so there is no rent or utilities.” There is also no paid staff; volunteers do the work.

Joining McKeown on the foundation’s board are Carol Snow, secretary; Jeanne Fregulia, treasurer; and Susan Christensen, board member.

Using original seed money and donations, the foundation is able to fund a variety of requests. (See sidebar for a partial list of beneficiaries.)

In addition, nine college scholarships have also been awarded through the Leonhardt Family Scholarship Fund and the Martin Popish Scholarship Fund, both of which are administered by the foundation.

According to its website: “We are both a grant maker and a vehicle for donors to accomplish their philanthropic goals. We seek to link people who care with community projects and programs that matter. We partner with donors to ensure their gifts are distributed as specified and have maximum impact within the community.”

McKeown stressed that the foundation follows up with grantees to ensure that the money was spent as it was intended. “We ask for receipts and other documentation,” she said.

The Nakoma Education Fund also operates under the umbrella of the foundation. The proceeds of its annual golf tournament are then awarded to a local school in the Portola area.

Information about applying for a grant or donating to the foundation can be found on commongoodplumas.org. Checks may be sent to The Common Good Community Foundation, 364 Johnsville Road, Blairsden, CA 96103.

Common Good Community Foundation Partial list of recipients

EPCA/Portola

CAN/Quincy

Mohawk Community Resource Center

Main Street Artists

Plumas Arts

PAWS

Plumas County Hospice

Sierra Hospice

Feather River Land Trust

Portola Kids Preschool

American Valley 4H

Friends of Plumas County Animals

Mohawk Valley Stewardship Council

Plumas Crisis Intervention

dramaworks

Roundhouse Council

Portola Purple Pride Boosters Club

Mt. Circle Family Services

Plumas Audubon

Feather River Land Trust

Plumas Charter School

Plumas Rural Service/Chinese Cemetery Project

Sierra Institute

Feather River Trout Unlimited

The Feather River College Ray Evans & Rose Cortez Scholarship funds

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