The new year is underway, and whether you were just happy to put 2020 behind you or approached 2021 with a laundry list of new year’s resolutions, I am certain we all are hopeful that things will get better this year. Many of us know from experience that you are more likely to bridge the gap between where you are and the hope you have for the future by making a plan for how to get there. That is exactly how Willa Fancher and Martha Taggart approached life and why their estate plan is set to have a transformational impact on the future of our community. Longtime friends and Kansas City residents, Fancher and Taggart were inspired to leave a lasting legacy and provide support that would help nonprofits address the ever-changing needs of the community. Working with their trusted financial advisor, they included a generous $2.8 million unrestricted gift to Truman Heartland Community Foundation in their estate plans. The new Willa L. Fancher and Martha A. Taggart Endowment Fund, an endowed grantmaking fund, will benefit nonprofits serving our region. More than $65,000 in additional funding will be available this year for our competitive grants program, thanks to the Willa L. Fancher and Martha A. Taggart Endowment Fund. That means this year more than $320,000 will be available in community grants through the Community Foundation’s competitive grants program . As an endowed fund, their legacy will make a positive impact in the Eastern Jackson County community into perpetuity and is projected to make cumulative grants of more than $9.1 million in the next 50 years. That is the power of an endowment. For many, a planned legacy gift is a way to honor loved ones, establish a scholarship fund or by naming a child successor, make charitable giving a family tradition. Our community is blessed with many generous individuals and families who have a vision for the future of our community and have established plans to ensure that the causes they care about continue to receive the funding they need year, after year, after year. Our grants are an investment in our community and an important part of our plan to strengthen our region for the future. As nonprofits continue to navigate the financial and operational strains of the pandemic, this year’s competitive grants program offers critical funding for program and general operating support. We are hosting a free Competitive Grants Application Webinar on Thursday, February 4 at 1 p.m. to help area nonprofits learn about our grants programs, including deadlines and requirements. Nonprofits who are interested in applying for funding in 2021 are encouraged to attend.