West Virginia is experiencing the largest generational transfer of wealth in its history, and community foundations have a new tool for harnessing those resources.
Keep 5 Local is a statewide program of Philanthropy West Virginia’s Give2WV: Community Foundations Network, and it is based on the fact that West Virginia, like the rest of the country, is in the midst of the biggest personal wealth transfer in history.
If West Virginia communities can capture at least 5 percent of today’s wealth, it will translate to millions, if not billions, in community philanthropy funding across the state. By encouraging local residents to take a new look at philanthropic estate planning through the lens of a community foundation, West Virginia can see a powerful private sector solution to its longtime local charitable needs.
Paul Daugherty, president and CEO of Philanthropy West Virginia, said Keep 5 Local is using economic data compiled by “transfer of wealth” or TOW studies that have been conducted in at least 33 West Virginia counties.
“As wealth transfers from generation to generation, a lot of it is expected to leave the state,” Daugherty said. “But if we manage to keep at least 5 percent of it in West Virginia, we could see thriving communities in every corner of the Mountain State.”
EWVCF has completed a TOW study for each of the five counties we serve: Jefferson, Berkeley, Morgan, Hampshire, and Hardy and the results are astounding.
The five counties served by EWVCF – Jefferson, Berkeley, Morgan, Hampshire and Hardy – have more than $20 billion in personal wealth today and more than $5.2 billion will be transferred to the next generation during the coming 10 years. If 5 percent of that wealth is set aside for community philanthropy, the community foundation will grow to more than $260 million and will be able to award nearly $13 million in grants to local charities every year.
Although this is a lofty goal, other areas of the country have had great success with similar programs. Considering how generous West Virginians are, we believe we can help donors create lasting legacies that will benefit the Eastern Panhandle for generations to come.
Please contact EWVCF Executive Director Michael Whalton at 304.264.0353 to learn more about the Keep5Local program.