History of the Aspire Foundation
The following was taken directly from the Aspire Arizona Foundation’s website:6 The Rim Country Educational Foundation (RCEF), LLC, and entity of the MHA Foundation, served as a forerunner of the Aspire Arizona Foundation. Through the RCEF, approximately 200 donors*, primarily those with homes in Payson, made donations ranging between $100 and $25,000 for a total of $190,000, including grants. These donations were used to pay required pre-development expenses to acquire the land from the United States Forest Service. Through the generous support from the MHA Foundation, the RCEF funded the $4.1 million acquisition of the 243 acre USFS site in October, 2015 and has been paying for design and engineering plans for the new campus. When permanent financing for the project is complete, pre-development funds will be repaid and become the seeds of the AAF endowment.
Check out the Aspire Arizona Foundation 990 tax return for 2016 here:7
If the Aspire Arizona Foundation, and the MHA Foundation applied to the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations they would fall short of achieving most of the 26 standards for accreditation. The National Standards is a supporting organization of the Council of Foundations in Washington D.C. Accreditation represents rigorous levels of scrutiny to which all community foundations should aspire. Read for yourself the list of requirements here8.
Is it not an insult to the Payson community that under the slightest scrutiny the MHA Foundation files a Notice of Claim for $87,400,0009 against its own community for asking questions and wanting clarity?
1NOTE: As stated in the first paragraph, the Payson community’s donations to the charitable AAF or MHA Foundations, can end up being intermingled amongst RCEF funds. *The RCEF is a for-profit LLC. ★