The proceeds would be used to support important local projects, some relatively small but others that forever changed the face of the city, including a major hospital, the Seattle Opera, and the emergency response system known as Medic One. Today, the Seattle Foundation holds assets of nearly $600 million and is guided by this Mission Statement:
The Seattle Foundation’s mission is to create a healthy community through engaged philanthropy, community knowledge and leadership. We inspire informed and generous giving to make our community–local, national and international–a vital and healthy place to live.
In the year 2000 a group of six civic-minded philanthropists in Bratislava, including my cousin Karol Pavlů, joined hands and pooled their resources to establish a community foundation based on the same model, under the name Komunitná nadácia Bratislava (KNB) or Community Foundation Bratislava. (In 1999 Karol had played a major role in the establishment of the Museum of Transport in one of the old railway buildings of Bratislava.) The mission statement of KNB reads as follows:
The mission of the foundation is to encourage philanthropy and good relationships among the people of Bratislava, so that they will develop a positive relationship with their city and have a sense of shared responsibility for the quality of life in the city.
Like the Seattle Foundation and numerous others, KNB operates in two parallel ways: first, it collects contributions and distributes awards to worthy projects acccording to goals and award mechanisms set by the foundation itself, and second, it holds and administers personalized funds whose goals are designated and disbursements are controlled by individual donors. These personalized funds are almost like personal mini-foundations. For such funds KNB provides accounting services, handles the legal paperwork associated with awards, and ensures that every award is consistent with the misson statement under which the fund was originally established. Since 2000 KNB has supported over a thousand projects and distributed nearly 1,250,000 euro.
In 2002 my wife and I established a private fund with KNB in honor of my grandfather Dr. Milan Hodža. The fund has been used to support several activities that further his legacy, most recently the placement of a statue honoring his contemporary, the poet and political leader Martin Rázus, on the promenade fronting the Danube River as it runs through downtown Bratislava.
Read about the Seattle Foundation at: http://www.seattlefoundation.org/Pages/Default.aspx
Read about the Komunitná nadácia Bratislava at: http://www.knb.sk/hlavna-stranka.html?page_id=193
Read about the Association of Community Foundations of Slovakia at: http://asociaciakns.sk/