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As published in The Community Foundation Spotlight in The Press Enterprise on March 5, 2016.

In February three Temecula Valley nonprofits joined forces to strengthen their organizations and catalyze giving in their area.

Temecula Valley Endowment ProgramLouEllen Ficke, Commerce Bank of Temecula Valley and Ginger Greaves, Santa Rosa Plateau Nature EducationMichelle’s Place Breast Cancer Resource Center, Oak Grove Center for Education Treatment & the Arts and Santa Rosa Plateau Nature Education unveiled the launch of the Temecula Valley Endowment Program in Wildomar during a donor reception. Combining their three endowments into a consortium, the organizations will strengthen the endowment’s growth potential. 

The Community Foundation has managed the endowment funds for all three organizations since their funds were established. The goal of an endowment is to establish permanence for a nonprofit organization. Monetary gifts from donors, given both directly to the endowment fund and those that are legacy gifts, remain at The Community Foundation in perpetuity. The interest earned on these funds is then used to support daily operations. Raising funds for overhead and capital maintenance is notoriously difficult and having this buffer helps to ensure a nonprofit’s future.

Temecula Valley Endowment ProgramKim Goodnough, Michelleís Place Breast Cancer Resource Center and Ashlee Collins, from Michelleís Place Breast Cancer Resource CenterSerious about developing the possibilities of combining their resources, the nonprofits looked for guidance in organizing the unification. To manage the program, the consortium selected Jeff McNurlan as the program’s director to facilitate and grow the potential of endowment giving.  Jeff has worked with several non-profits in resource development and strategic planning roles.

"These organizations saw the power of banding together to build their individual endowments through a consortium," said Jeff McNurlan, Program Director of the Temecula Valley Endowment Program.  "It's truly an opportunity to build value, resilience and permanence that will impact the Temecula Valley in the near future and for decades to come."

The three nonprofits address three very different needs within the community. The Community Foundation, which holds many funds that support nonprofit organizations in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties and also assists with building their capacity through Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, believes that charitable giving across a wide range of needs is crucial to every community’s strength. 

temecula-valley-endowment-3Oak Grove Student Tammy Wilson, Oak Grove Center for Education Treatment & the ArtsMichelle’s Place is a full-service breast cancer resource center whose mission is to assist individuals and families impacted by breast cancer with education and support services. Since 2001, Michelle’s Place has provided over 100,000 services to over 10,000 men and women with cancer. Services offered include support groups, free comfort items, patient navigation, educational seminars, temporary financial assistance, and more. 

Oak Grove Center for Education Treatment & the Arts is a 24-hour residential, educational and therapeutic treatment center, located in Murrieta. The organization treats 76 at-risk children who live on campus as well as 90-100 day students who attend its non-public school. Oak Grove also operates a second campus, Oak Grove at the Ranch, in Perris, that serves an additional 50 students.

temecula-valley-endowment-4Santa Rosa Plateau Nature Education Foundation is an outdoor and nature education provider which is located at a biological reserve, located at the southern end of the Santa Ana Mountains near Murrieta. Their programs are aligned with EEI (Environmental Education Initiative), NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) curriculum components. They are offered at no cost to students.

According to McNurlan, it is also particularly important to the consortium that it not only inspire further giving in the community, but also stand by their donor’s intentions to support individual philanthropic passions. And the donors who support Temecula Valley nonprofits are passionate about their causes.

“The needs are great, and there is a great personal satisfaction that we get from being able to see firsthand that our contributions are put to good use and remain in the greater community in which we live,” said Harry Finch, a supporter and board member of Michelle’s Place. 

To learn more about the Temecula Valley Endowment Program, contact Darren Diess at 619.990.8871 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.