The CREATE Foundation received a record $21.3 million in contributions last year, pushing its assets from $108.8 million at the end of 2018 to $137.3 million in 2019.

Bo Collins, chairman of CREATE, said the confidence and trust in CREATE from people in Northeast Mississippi has been amazing.

“While the numbers are certainly impressive, the real significance is found in the impact made in the lives of people through the contributions to many different funds,” he said. “Another important measure for CREATE is in the growth of endowment funds (permanent funds). 2019 was also a record with 19 new endowment funds, giving the foundation a total of 241. These funds continue to provide support year after year for scholarships, organizations and a variety of other charitable initiatives.”

Mike Clayborne, president of CREATE, said “one of the great things about CREATE is the ability to work with donors at all levels, large and small, and do it in a very cost effective manner. We can assist anyone in accomplishing their charitable giving interests. It is a privilege to partner with so many communities, organizations, businesses and individuals.”

CREATE service area covers 17 counties and is the oldest and largest community foundation in Mississippi. The operation of CREATE is supported entirely through fees and contributions.

CREATE also is the sole shareholder of the Daily Journal.

The top accomplishments of 2019, cited by CREATE:

• Asset Growth –$137.2 million (Over $28 million growth)

• Contributions – $21.3 million most for one year in the history of CREATE.

• Endowment Fund Growth – 19 new funds. The highest number in one year.

• Toyota Wellspring Fund – 10th Anniversary Celebration

• Toyota Wellspring Career Coach Impact

• Endow Mississippi Participation – 22 gifts; $453,799 – 22% of total statewide gifts; $113,449 in tax credits

• 13th Annual Dropout Prevention Summit – celebrated a 50% reduction in the high school dropout rate over the past decade.

• Districts of Innovation Legislation – Oxford joined previous districts – Corinth, Baldwyn and Booneville. Tupelo application pending.

• High Speed Internet Legislation – Commission supported the passage of legislation to enable electric cooperatives to provide high speed internet to rural areas.