In 1994, Rick Honsowetz from CliftonLarsonAllen, formerly LeMaster & Daniels, in Moses Lake, Randy Dickinson from Edward Jones Investments in Moses Lake, and the Executive Directors from two non-profit organizations began having discussions on the subject of a practical way for non-profit organizations in the community to receive and manage charitable bequests.
The cost of receiving and managing a permanent endowment bequest was just too high for a single organization. This group determined that community foundations manage these types of funds for a multitude of organizations, providing for college scholarships as well as income to non-profit organizations.
This original group discovered community foundations exist in smaller communities as well as in very large communities and have filled a needed void in their communities. The question on their minds was "Would a community foundation work in the Columbia Basin?"
Quite of bit of time was spent by this original group of people gathering support for the concept of having a community foundation in the Columbia Basin. After additional people agreed to help in the process, work began to form the Columbia Basin Foundation.
G. Raymond Taylor of the Greater Wenatchee Community Foundation and Eleanor Kane of the Blue Mountain Area Foundation in Walla Walla were a tremendous help.
Articles of Incorporation were drafted, as well as Bylaws and an application to the Internal Revenue Service to be recognized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. After additional behind the scenes work, CBF was incorporated in August of 1996.
The original Board of Directors began making presentations to service clubs and businesses, discussing the need for administrative support dollars the organization would need to be able to operate.
After financial commitments were in place for the first three years of operation, the foundation's Board of Directors started interviewing prospective employees and hired Dave Campbell of Moses Lake as a part-time Foundation Manager in February 1997.
Mick Ewart of Connell, a founding member of the CBF Board of Directors, became the first person to create an endowment fund at CBF in December 1996. This fund is a memorial to his parents. The G.O. & Ione Ewart Educational Trust Fund provides scholarships to graduates of Connell High School who will be attending four-year academic institutions.
Since December of 1996, area residents have been turning to the Columbia Basin Foundation to make their philanthropic giving as effective as possible. We are a public charity serving people who share a common concern of improving the quality of life in the Columbia Basin and beyond.
Individuals, families, businesses and organizations create permanent charitable funds that help our region meet the challenges of changing times. The foundation invests and administers these funds. We then use the distributions to award grants each year to many of the humanitarian, educational and cultural organizations in this remarkable region we call home.
From the first endowment fund created in 1996, the Columbia Basin Foundation has grown to manage over 100 funds with a variety of philanthropic goals defined by each individual donor and numerous special project funds to enhance our communities.