GREENVILLE Group considers fund for investing

The Greenville civic group is looking into a nonprofit account at Shenango Valley Community Foundation.
GREENVILLE, Pa.-- A meeting tonight will help a local civic group decide what to do with some of its money.
Members of the Greenville Area Preservation Association invite the public to attend the organization's meeting at 6:30 p.m. in Greenville High School's lecture hall.
When the group was organized earlier this year, it vowed to put a portion of the money it raises to sponsoring community events toward helping the town pay off its $1.62 million debt.
In the months since, the group has been searching for the best way to do that.
Tonight the GAPA will check out the possibility of setting up an investment account through the Shenango Valley Community Foundation.
"We're just getting the information," said Lorrie Smith, one of the GAPA founders. She said she doesn't expect the members to make a final decision right away.
The Shenango Valley Community Foundation handles more than 100 community funds, said Larry Haynes, the foundation's director.
He said the foundation could set up an endowment fund for GAPA. In that way, the group would receive the same benefits as a nonprofit organization without going through all the paperwork to get the nonprofit designation.
Held in trust
The accounts handled by the foundation are held in trust, Haynes said. The money is deposited by the group as a donation, and the fund also will be open to individual donations, he said. The donor would receive a receipt that he or she could use to get a tax deduction.
He said account holders receive quarterly statements so they know exactly where their fund is.
"The association would have oversight as to where that money would go," Haynes said.
Smith said the group has talked about going with a five-year plan through the foundation that would bring them a high-yield investment return.
"At the end of that time," Smith said, "if there's still a debt, it will go toward that. If not, we'll vote on a community project [to put it into]."
No one can say right now how much money the organization would have when the fund matures because it all depends on how much is deposited over the years and what returns the investment brings in.
Haynes is pretty positive about the investment plan, however.
"We've put $6 million back into the community over the past 20 years," he said.
Haynes will attend the meeting along with Michael Foreman of the state Department of Community and Economic Development, who will explain the fund process and how it would work along with the Distressed Community Designation that Greenville has received from the state.

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