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Generous Family Launches Capital Reserve Fund

Paul Earle and Ellen Rudnick take some time at the Gleacher Center of University of Chicago to share their philanthropic plan for One Hope United.

As states’ funding of child care and availability of certain services remain in flux, One Hope United’s work becomes even more vital to improving the future of children and families in the communities it serves.  That is why the agency is honored to have so many committed donors who both believe in the work that it does and continue to generously support its programs and sustainability.  These donors include One Hope United board member Paul Earle.  He and his spouse Ellen Rudnick recently gave the agency a gift of $50,000, one of the largest from individuals in the organization’s history.

“We wanted to focus our gift on the longer-term health of a nonprofit organization,” said Earle. “Most nonprofits live day to day especially when the economy is dreadful.”  The retired Spencer Stuart senior leader  has served on the One Hope United board since 2005, and as he and Rudnick focus their efforts on philanthropy and strategic giving, they have found that One Hope United lines up perfectly with their desire to give to agencies that focus on children and families and to support well-managed, sustainable organizations with great outcomes.“There are so many overwhelming problems in the world,” says Ellen Rudnick, Executive Director and Clinical Professor of the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  “We take solace in knowing that by donating to One Hope United, we’re impacting one child and family at a time, right here in our own community.” Earle and Rudnick decided to makeone large joint gift to One Hope United’s Capital Reserve Fund, instead of spreading a number of smaller gifts to a number worthy non-profit organizations.  The couple wanted to make a more resonant impact, and the reserve fund allows the agency to expand and remain sustainable.

“Sustainability is extremely important for the future of nonprofits,” said Rudnick. “Organizations need new revenue models to couple with the social mission of their enterprise.  Nonprofits can’t just rely on grants, government funds and direct mail campaigns to those who have given in the past. As individual donors, we can help set nonprofits off on the right path with strategic giving and guidance.”

Earle and Rudnick said they admired the fiscal responsibility and accountability of One Hope United, but even more important in motivating them to give was the desire to sustain these programs as the state of government funding is uncertain. The majority of One Hope United’s services, such as early education, foster care and child/family counseling, are underwritten by government funds.  As state deficits grow, funding for these programs shrinks.“What’s going to happen to these children down the road when the state stops paying?” asked Earle. “Starting the Capital Reserve Fund helps ensure that the great outcomes currently being achieved by One Hope United can continue into the future.”