The suggestion to organize a community foundation was first presented in 2006 as an objective of the Town of Highland’s Strategic Plan. It read, “Establish a relationship with a community foundation, such as the Legacy Foundation, to enable persons to make tax deductible contributions to help underwrite costs of the capital improvement program”. Shortly thereafter, state shared revenues with the Town began to decline. Special legislation imposed on Lake County mandated a freeze on local property tax levies unless the County enacts a county income tax.
In 2010, volunteers were asked to serve on an exploratory committee to research and potentially organize a community foundation to enable funding for projects and programs the Town could no longer afford. The Committee met over a term of nine months. The Committee consisted of representatives of the Highland Town Council, the Council’s Advisory Boards and Commissions, service organizations and interested community-minded volunteers.
At a meeting held February 25, 2011, the foundation was organized by the adoption of bylaws, initial board members were identified, officers were elected and agreements with the Legacy Foundation were approved for the professional management, investment, accounting and reporting of our funds.
All board members are uncompensated volunteers; we have no paid staff. All board members make annual donations for the operating expense of our foundation.