Village Community Fund is a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit corporation incorporated in California in 2017 (Tax ID#82-3793600). We serve older adults in Laguna Woods Village, a senior community of 18,000 residents in South Orange County, California, as well as older adults in surrounding communities. Donations to the Village Community Fund are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Our Mission is to provide support for programs, services, and facilities that enrich the lives of older adults.
Q-Why Is the Village Community Fund Needed?
Laguna Woods Village is a wonderful place for active adults to live and thrive, and since opening in 1964, our 2,100-acre community has achieved many significant improvements. However, inherent conflicts exist between maintaining affordable resident fees and asking homeowners to pay for improved programs, services, and facilities.
Village Community Fund came into being because, in many cases, residents, their family members, and other close friends of the Village are happy and honored to support planned improvements here as charitable donations. Many of the Village’s 260 registered clubs have dedicated members who would like to enhance their clubs through charitable donations for approved projects. Facilitating such gift opportunities is the role of Village Community Fund, in cooperation with GRF; our management company, Village Management Services, Inc.; and individual clubs or groups of residents.
Village Community Fund primarily supports programs, services, and facilities that are in some way accessible to older adults living outside the gated community, as well as to Laguna Woods residents. Saddleback College, through its Emeritus Institute (the largest such program in California), offers some 80 college-level extended learning classes on site in the Village, classes which are open to all Orange County seniors. Community seniors are also welcomed at Village events as guests of residents. Village clubs, as well, welcome up to 10% non-resident members. In addition, Village Community Fund makes donations to local non-profits outside the community whose programs serve older adults.
Q-What is the Process to execute a fundraising project?
The Village Community Fund serves in an advisory capacity, fostering both large and small projects to benefit senior adults. For all projects, a group of concerned residents will form a committee, working with GRF’s cooperation and ultimate approval, to develop and plan the proposed project, including timetable and budget. The resident group is responsible for raising the tax-deductible funds which will be donated to Village Community Fund, and in turn given to GRF, earmarked for the project. Club Projects are coordinated with the Recreation Department and may or may not require formal GRF approval, depending on their scope.
Village Community Fund also works to identify and interest residents and others who may wish to help us accomplish our goals. Raising funds to carry out our mission is a constant effort. Some Village Community Fund funds will also be donated to local non-profits that provide programs, services, and facilities for older adults, such as Age Well Senior Services, which includes the Florence Sylvester Memorial Senior Center.
Q-What is the Fund’s Current Focus?
To encourage and manage donations for GRF-approved facility improvement projects that will make facilities better, safer, and more accommodating for Village clubs, programs and classes. Projects on our radar include raising funds for upgrades to the Performing Arts Center.
Q-What fundraising projects have been completed so far?
Video Studio Control Room. This project, undertaken by the 160-member Video Club, provided furniture, equipment, and cabling for a new soundproof Control Room/Classroom added to the existing Video Studio (located in the Clubhouse 2 Annex) by re-purposing a portion of an adjoining room. Construction was financed by VMS funds designated for remodeling, leaving it up to the Video Club to furnish the new facility. This project was approved by GRF and completed in 2019.
Q-Why was Village Community Fund created?
A few years ago, a resident approached the management of Laguna Woods Village asking how he might donate a quarter of a million dollars to improve Laguna Woods, the community he cherished. But at that time there was no tax-deductible structure to accept his gift. True story!
Q-How was the Fund created?
The Fund started in 2017 by a group of residents meeting monthly to plan an organization designed to serve community needs beyond those served by the Foundation of Laguna Woods Village. Village Community Fund was modeled after the successful Leisure World Foundation of Mesa, Arizona. Consulting assistance came from a professional team comprised of the Mayor of Laguna Beach, Quadrant Law Group of Irvine, lawyers, a paralegal, and operations director.
Village Community Fund was incorporated on December 13, 2017. Incorporating officers were John Parker, President; Kay Levingston, Secretary; and Mindy Armstrong, Treasurer. Donations from the early planning group funded the start-up costs.
Q-How does Village Community Fund differ from the other community mutuals, foundation and GRF?
Village Community Fund is a separate entity from Laguna Woods Village’s three housing mutuals and the Golden Rain Foundation (GRF), which manages the community’s shared amenities. These are non-profit entities, each with its own Board of Directors, but they are not 501(c)(3)s. Village Community Fund works in cooperation with the Foundation of Laguna Woods Village, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, a non-profit corporation established in 1997, whose primary mission is to provide temporary financial assistance to qualifying, economically disadvantaged residents of the community.