In Mike Monteith’s mind, community comes first.
Monteith is CEO of Peninsula Community Foundation of Virginia (PCF), an organization that connects nonprofits with funding streams. For 10 years, he has worked with PCF to better the community by bolstering groups that work to advance the community.
“We help improve the quality of life for people who live here,” says Monteith. One of our main activities is finding new ways to connect people with not-for-profits in which they are interested.”
The foundation supports organizations in Williamsburg, James City County, York County, Isle of Wight County, Gloucester County, Newport News and Hampton. Often, PCF connects potential donors with like-minded groups. The more funding nonprofits have, Monteith says, the more positive energy they can generate locally.
The motto of PCF is “Imagine. A thriving Peninsula for all.” The foundation focuses its efforts on many areas, including housing, education and neighborhoods. In many ways, PCF is like a clearinghouse, using its community connections to link donors and causes.
The foundation has several ways of inspiring good endeavors in the community. One of its main projects is the Give Local 757 initiative, which Monteith calls “our brainstorm.”
Give Local 757 started in 2014.
“We wanted to learn more about how we and our nonprofit partners could better use platforms,” he says. “We also wanted to see how nonprofits connected with the community electronically.”
The campaign was wildly successful, allowing people the opportunity to designate organizations to which they wanted to contribute through the Internet during one designated 24-hour period. Give Local 757 was heavily dependent on social media. In its first year, the day raised $150,000. This year, $1.8 million was raised by 10,000 donors for 220 different area nonprofit organizations. As the years have gone on, technology has improved, and the event has emerged stronger.
“I call that a success,” says Monteith, who is a former assistant city manager for the City of Hampton. “The idea was not just to raise money, but to also be another resource for nonprofits to realize how they can reach out and tell their stories more effectively,” he says. “It’s a great way for them to spread the word about themselves.”
Monteith, a graduate of Newport News High School and Christopher Newport University, brings his whole heart to the job. He is a man on a mission to improve the community he knows so well. With a background in human resources and local government, Monteith, 71, possesses the perfect combination of people skills and savvy fundraising abilities to strengthen PCF’s successes. His specialty is partnerships that inspire, encourage and stimulate progress.
In addition to Give Local 757, the foundation provides community members with another avenue to fund area nonprofits: donor-advised funds. People set up the funds with the foundation. The funds are invested in a portfolio of investments, allowing the initial contribution to grow with the market, thus creating additional funds, which can then be donated. People can also transfer stock to the foundation as a basis of funding for a donor-advised fund. The PCF portfolio is now worth $16 million.
“As investors, they direct the charitable process,” Monteith says. Not only do the nonprofits benefit, but the donors also receive tax advantages.
“We can help you on your path to personal philanthropy by making it easier for you to do good,” says the foundation’s literature about donor-advised funds. “Your giving helps your community and everyone benefits. Together, we can create something special that will last forever.”
Monteith, who also once owned a skateboard shop in Hampton, is a huge fan of the foundation and all of the positive energy that it creates locally. The foundation has a board of 14, most of whom are community leaders. With the goal of re-investing in the community, the foundation has unending potential, he says. And that is why Monteith sticks around, knowing that he and the foundation have the ability to make a difference in people’s lives. He is driven by the possibility and promise.
“I love having a job that makes the world better,” he says.
TO THE POINT:
Peninsula Community Foundation of Virginia
Address: 11742 Jefferson Ave., Ste. 350, Newport News, VA 23606.
Contact: Mike Monteith, CEO