The CREATE Foundation, Northeast Mississippi’s Community Foundation, has reached a major milestone in its 44-year history. Robin McCormick, Board Chair from West Point, announced that at the end of July the foundation topped $100 million total assets, reaching a total of $101,252,651. CREATE is the oldest and largest community foundation in Mississippi and the third largest grantmaking foundation in the state. The foundation has a service area of 17 counties with 28 members on its board of directors from 13 counties.
Mike Clayborne, President of CREATE, stated the foundation has experienced rapid growth over the past 20 years because of the generosity of individuals, families, organizations, and companies throughout Northeast Mississippi, and their trust and confidence in CREATE.
The foundation has 711 active charitable funds that include 180 endowment funds, 155 donor advised funds, and 177 special projects. CREATE has 13 affiliates that serve as community foundations for their counties. Additionally, there are two supporting organizations, the Mize Foundation and the Pierce Foundation.
Clayborne said, “the tremendous commitment of Toyota to support education in three counties had played a significant role in the growth of the foundation.” The Toyota Wellspring Fund has a balance of $35 million.
In addition to charitable giving CREATE is active in regional community development through the Commission on the Future of Northeast Mississippi. Regional leaders have worked through the commission to address a wide range of issues including education, transportation, leadership development, racial reconciliation, and highway development.
CREATE was founded by George and Anna Kiersey McLean in 1972 owners of Journal Inc. The foundation has been the sole stockholder of Journal Inc. since 1983.