Oak Lawn Community Foundation

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 Oak Lawn Community Foundation

The Oak Lawn Social Service Corporation held a Special Meeting on Tuesday, July 21, 2015 and unanimously approved conversion of the Oak Lawn Social Service Corporation from a 501(c)4 entity to the Oak Lawn Community Foundation with a 501(c)3 designation. This is big news for the Village of Oak Lawn because it ensures that support for our DARE and EDGE programs and other worthy charitable organizations will continue.

The Oak Lawn Social Service Corporation was formed in the 1980s for the betterment of the community.  It was started with a $500,000 payment from Multimedia Cablevision and the adopted policy was to never spend more than 90% the interest each year to allow this incredible resource to grow over time.  This prudent policy was followed for decades and the original $500,000 grew to $640,000.  

Sadly, lack of disciplined gifting over the past decade dwindled this incredible resource to lower balances than in the 1980’s (to approximately $460,000 today.)  In 2010 alone nearly $160,000 was gifted.  While no one denies these were worthy causes to support, the result is today that requests far exceed the interest earned and it is nearly impossible to restore this resource because donations are not tax deductible.

Overspending of the past robbed future generations of Oak Lawnians the benefits of this great gift.

Mayor Bury asked the Social Service Corporation Board for direction.  They could either continue to deplete this community resource in violation of their stated policy as has been done in the past or they could convert it into an entity with a 501(c)3 designation which would allow charitable contributions to be made with the hope of replenishing it to what it once was and perhaps much more.  

The Social Service  Corporation Board voted unanimously to proceed with the 501(c)3 conversion and the documents have been filed with the IRS for consideration.  New by-laws, a conflict of interest policy, an investment policy and articles of amendment were approved at the July 21, 2015 meeting.  The IRS can take as long as six to nine months to act on the request for conversion.

What does this mean for residents?  It means that Oak Lawn will join other elite municipalities with Community Foundations which support many worthy local causes.  It means that future generations can expect to see this resource grow over time and realize greater benefits than originally envisioned in the 1980s.  It means that corporations, individuals and others can make donations which are tax deductible which benefit Oak Lawn directly. 

If you would like more information about the Oak Lawn Community Foundation, please contact Oak Lawn Social Service Corporation President, Mayor Bury at sbury@oaklawn-il.gov.