Your charitably-minded clients certainly have no shortage of options for their philanthropic dollars. However, many clients are deeply committed to the local community where they’re living now, where they’ve raised their children, or where they’ve built a business. That’s why it’s helpful to remind clients that they can reach out to the team at the Clinton County Foundation when they want to make sure their dollars are making the biggest difference possible, right here in our community.

Indeed, local giving satisfies many clients’ commitment to “take care of our own.” The unfortunate steady flow of crises and even disasters, coupled with decreasing state and federal funding to local nonprofits, means that philanthropy is playing an increasingly important role in our region. The Clinton County Foundation, through its wide variety of fund types available to your clients (including endowment funds to support the community in perpetuity), can help your clients achieve their goals for local support, whether that takes the form of helping families in need, supporting health-based initiatives, or paving the way for recreational activities or historic preservation initiatives.

The Clinton County Foundation is always happy to provide insight into the challenges our community is facing right now and which organizations are delivering services to alleviate those needs so that your clients can provide immediate support through their donor-advised funds.  In addition, an unrestricted fund may be a good fit for clients who want to improve lives, right here in Clinton County, for generations to come, whatever challenges our region may face at any given point in time. An unrestricted fund may be particularly compelling for your clients who are 70 ½ or older. These clients may be eligible to make annual distributions up to $105,000 per spouse from their IRAs directly to an unrestricted fund at the community foundation. This transfer is called a “Qualified Charitable Distribution,” or “QCD.”

Not only do QCD transfers count toward satisfying Required Minimum Distributions, but your client also avoids the income tax on those funds. Furthermore, those assets are no longer part of the client’s estate upon death, so the client can avoid estate taxes, too.

Please reach out to the Clinton County Foundation for more information on how your clients can support both current and future local needs, and also meet their own financial, tax, and generational legacy goals. 

The Clinton County Foundation is a resource and sounding board as you serve your philanthropic clients. We understand the
charitable side of the equation and are happy to serve as a secondary source as you manage the primary relationship with your
clients. This newsletter is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal, accounting, or financial
planning advice.  

Home Is Where the Heart Gives

 Donor Feature: Bruce & Dorothy Henry

The iconic ag quote “farming is a profession of hope” perfectly describes the approach that Bruce and Dorothy Henry have taken to living and giving in their native Clinton County. Born and raised on their family’s farms (Dorothy near Blanchester and Bruce north east of Wilmington), both have spent a life of service in their beloved county.

Rather than follow his older brother to college, Bruce (a Wilmington High School graduate), chose to follow in his father’s footsteps and joined his other brother to become the fifth generation to farm the Henry family farm for 32 years until it was sold in 2019. While Dorothy, a Blanchester High School graduate, did attend both Southern State Community College and Chatfield College, she found her calling in the medical field, working in Clinton Memorial Hospital’s IT department for over 30 years.

Once they both retired and were married, Bruce and Dorothy turned their attention to how they could best address the needs of Clinton County. With no heirs, the Henrys began looking for ways to give back to the community in their way of fostering hope for Clinton County families. Bruce was looking for a way to honor his parents — the late Robert and Phoebe Henry – and pay tribute to the County’s agricultural industry. So, when the Clinton County Foundation brought the Garden Club’s corn sculpture project to their attention in late 2020, the Henrys eagerly signed on to fund it. Located at Point Park, the green space located at the confluence of East Main and East Locust Streets, the Henrys saw this project as the “front door” where Wilmington “sets the stage for our small-town welcome.”

In that same year, the Henrys established a scholarship fund with the Foundation in which 15 deserving high school seniors from Clinton County schools each receive a $1000 scholarship to advance their education. Since its inception their scholarship program has distributed nearly $45,000 for student education. Of equal importance to Bruce and Dorothy is having resources available for arts, historic preservation, and beautification in all of Clinton County. Their endowment fund, established in 2023 at the Foundation, will ensure that Clinton County will always have resources for these types of special projects. Local initiatives for education and cancer patients have also benefited from the Henry’s generosity. For example, our County’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) Program ensures every registered child from birth to 5 years of age receives a free book mailed to their home every month. Since the program began in 2020, nearly 70% of eligible children in Clinton County are registered and over 55,000 books have been mailed. 

“Ongoing financial support by community leaders like Bruce and Dorothy Henry is so important to continuing our work. This keeps our drumbeat going,” stated Karen Long, Clinton County DPIL Coordinator.

With her background in the medical field, Dorothy was eager to focus on the County’s medical needs. The Henry’s support of the Health Alliance of Clinton County’s Cancer Patient Assistance Program (CPAP) helps provide important support to individuals fighting cancer, such as allowing patients to remain in their homes, receive medical equipment, nutritional support, and transportation for treatments. 

“Support for CPAP is crucial, and the Henrys make it a priority. Their leadership inspires others to give back,” commented Kay Fisher, President of Health Alliance of Clinton County, a fund of the Clinton County Foundation.

In 2024, Bruce and Dorothy were recognized with a Clinton County Community Champion (C4) Award in the Citizen Category for their work through the Clinton County Foundation and philanthropic leadership that illustrates the importance of giving back to the community in a way that will impact thousands of people over time. Visionary. Invested. Hopeful. These words describe Bruce and Dorothy Henry and their selfless commitment to our community. Their philanthropy has blossomed since that first project and working with the Foundation, they have established funds that will remain in Clinton County forever.

Their generosity illustrates the importance of giving back to the community and fostering hope in our future. 

“The breadth of their support for education, the arts, beautification and health/wellness is noteworthy. We are fortunate the Henrys call Clinton County home. They inspire others to give back and bring hope to many of the less fortunate in Clinton County. This is how change happens,” said Alison Belfrage, Executive Director of the Clinton County Foundation.

The Clinton County Foundation is a community foundation providing charitable investing and local grants that enable people and nonprofits to make a lasting and positive impact in our community. Inspire and cultivate charitable giving in Clinton County to build a thriving and resilient community where people want to live, work, and grow.

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