Jim and Carol Dougherty Family Fund

The fund was established in 1977 by Jim and Carol Dougherty with the stipulation that 2/3 of the annual fund earnings be used as determined by the Foundation Trustees and 1/3 be added to the principal. Earnings are to be used for charitable purposes once the fund reaches a pre-determined level.

My Foundation Experience

-Mike Dougherty, Treasurer


As a member of the local Rotary Club, I watched the Black River Falls Area Foundation evolve from an idea of Gil Homstad’s to its formation in 1986. I was impressed with the energy and enthusiasm that the founders had for the concept of a community foundation and the way that they made it happen. My father was also an enthusiastic supporter of the Foundation and he and his wife Carol established the Dougherty Family Fund in 1997.

I joined the Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 1998 along with John Hogden, when two of the founding Trustees, Dale Sherman and Dennis Richards, completed their terms of service. I became the Treasurer of the Foundation in 1999 when John Lund retired from the Board.

It has been an honor to witness the growth of the Foundation over the last 16 years. When I joined the Board of Trustees, the Foundation’s assets were just over $1.5 million. Thanks to the generosity of the donors in our community and the prudent investment practices of the Trustees, those assets have grown to over $4.5 million in 2014.

Another example of our community’s generosity has been the Friends of the Foundation. This group was formed in 1996 when 94 individuals donated a total of $9,400 to increase the amount of money available to fund grants. In 2014, 131 Friends donated $25,300 to help fund grant requests. Since the Friends were established, these generous individuals and organizations have donated over $241,000 to increase the Foundation’s grant-giving ability.

In addition to funding annual grant requests from area non-profit organizations, the Foundation has been a source of leadership and financial support for a number of significant community projects. By participating in fund raising or by donating a portion of its annual earnings, the Foundation has played a major role in the development of the Skyline Golf Course, the Lunda Community Center, the Black River Falls Public Library, the Foundation Recreation Trail, the Lunda Community Park and Hoffman Aquatic Center, the Rotary Club Skatepark, the Jackson County Soccer Park and the Jackson County Fair Park.

Scholarships were not part of the original vision for the Foundation but it wasn’t long before the Trustees recognized that the increasing cost of secondary education had created a significant need in our community. The Rotary and Lions clubs started the Foundation’s first scholarship fund in 1988. Today the Foundation administers 26 individual scholarship funds. Thanks to the generosity of the donors in our community, over $26,000 in scholarships were awarded in 2014.

The concept of a community foundation is to bring together individuals, businesses and families to provide financial support for non-profit organizations in our local area. I continue to be impressed by how effective the Black River Falls Area Foundation has become at meeting this objective for our community. It is a privilege to be part of such a worthwhile organization and I thank the many donors in that have made it all possible.