Community Ventures Fund

"If we can solve some of the problems we see in this community with dialog, it will benefit my business, my community and the whole of Rochester." - A Community Ventures Shareholder

What is the Community Ventures Fund?

The Community Ventures Fund of the Rochester Area Foundation is a long-term investment in the Rochester community for businesses and individuals committed and dedicated to the maintenance and enhancement of a superior quality of life for all residents.  In the same way as a venture capital  supports innovation in the business world, the Fund provides venture philanthropy support to the nonprofit world.  

Why a Community Ventures Fund?

The Fund will address issues, concerns and needs in the Rochester area within a strategic framework.  Priorities will be towards programs that are vital to the social and cultural fabric, infrastructure and educational needs of the community. Investments will be targeted to assure a sustainable future for the Rochester area.  All principal assets of the Fund are invested as part of the investment portfolio managed by the Rochester Area Foundation.  Earnings available for investment in the community are in accordance with the spending policies recommended by the Investment committee and adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Rochester Area Foundation.

How Does the Fund Work?

The Community Ventures Fund gives donors the opportunity to pool their charitable resources for greater impact.  Donors to the fund pool become the shareholders and collectively decide how the fund can be used for maximum community investment.  Grants from the Community Ventures Fund have the shareholders names attributed to the grant; however, one can opt out of attribution if they choose.

How Can I Become a Member of the Community Ventures Fund?

Individuals and businesses purchase shares of the fund for $25,000.  The shares can be purchased over a five year period for $5,000 each year.  The shareholders meet several times per year to set direction, establish project considerations and finally vote on a project to receive a grant.  Concerned and committed members of the Rochester community have joined the Ventures Fund to help insure a bright future.  Why don't you join with them?

Five Reasons to Join the Community Ventures Shareholders at the Rochester Area Foundation

  1. Maximize the Benefit to tackle large, important, complex community issues with greater impact due to the collective nature of the fund,
  2. Advocate for Change at private, public and government levels to get the community talking and acting proactively to solve critical issues.
  3. Focus on strategic priorities to increase community vitality in greater Rochester.
  4. Make a Gift That Lasts and has an enduring impact. This is an endowed fund which ensures the perpetuity of your gift.
  5. Be Part of Something Larger than most individual gifts would allow.

Financial Facts

Like any important decision, making a significant charitable donation requires careful consideration.  The Community Ventures Fund is no different.  The Fund is established to exist in perpetuity; your share will remain in the fund to finance other longer term, larger projects as determined by the shareholders at the time.

The Rochester Area Foundation Community Ventures Fund is unique in that the shareholders vote on projects for funding within the Rochester area and find that pooling resources provides the best advantage for impact in whatever area is under consideration.

  • The fund is financed through sales of stock
  • Share may be purchased by businesses or individuals
  • You are able to purchase additional shares
  • Meetings are held to discuss projects for funding
  • Your gift is tax deductible


Current Shareholders October 2012

Funded Projects

  • Gus & Ann Chafoulias
  • Al & Ann DeBoer
  • Canadian Honker Restaurant & Catering
  • Custom Alarm/Leigh Johnson
  • Olmsted Medical Center
  • Post-Bulletin Co.
  • McGladrey LLP
  • Jim & Judy Sloan
  • Al & Sharon Tuntland
  • Joyce Wenz
  • Charles Withers

Rochester Area Chamber's Workforce 2010
Funded in 2007 for $20,000

Rochester Public School's Five Year Plan
Funded in 2008 for $25,000

Rochester's Downtown Masterplan
Funded in 2009 for $30,000

Rochester Community Finance
Funded in 2010 for $25,000