Fund Name: Bernick's Family Fund
Fund Established: 1989
Community Foundation(s): Central Minnesota
Bernick’s has a long tradition of investing in its local communities. The fourth-generation family-owned business donates five percent of its net profits and supports over 100 causes each year.
In addition to the company’s philanthropy, many employees volunteer their time and talents with schools, civic groups, nonprofit organizations, youth groups, and local elected boards. While some charitably-inclined companies opt to create private corporate foundations, Bernick’s decided there was a better option for them. In 1989, the Bernick Family Foundation was established as a component of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.
“We found administration and decision making was becoming challenging, so now we work closely with the Community Foundation to achieve our philanthropic goals,” said Jason Bernick, Director of Corporate Affairs. “It has definitely streamlined things for us, but more importantly, it gives us access to a whole team of professionals.”
CMCF handles the administrative details, keeps Bernick’s informed about emerging trends and needs in the community, and helps design a giving strategy that addresses those needs in a way that reflects the family’s core values.
As the company has grown over the years, so too has the partnership with the Community Foundation. In 2001, Bernick’s added the Bernick Family Scholarship Fund, which awards $20,000 in scholarships each year to students across the company’s service areas in Minnesota and Wisconsin. And in 2008, the Bernick Family Foundation began awarding grants on a competitive basis in two focus areas: youth and education, and health and fitness.“Looking back on how our Foundation has evolved over its first 20 years, we can’t help but be excited about the future,” Jason said.