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Arizona group matches charitable donors, recipients

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at the National Convention Center before the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-U.S. Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Vientiane, Laos, Monday, July 25, 2016. Southeast Asia's main grouping made a last-ditch attempt to reach a consensus on countering China's territorial expansion in the South China Sea, but their deadlock appeared far from being resolved as minutes ticked by before a critical meeting with the Chinese foreign minister Monday. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

When people donate money to charity, they often assume it will go to the right place.

But who ensures that the money arrives there? Paperwork needs to be exchanged, conversations must be had and, most importantly, funds need to reach their proper destination. That’s where the Arizona Community Foundation comes in.

“Think about us as Arizona’s chest,” President and CEO of the Arizona Community Foundation Steve Selezmow told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR’s Karie & Chuck. “What we are is a vehicle for people to engage in giving and philanthropy and make it very easy for Arizonans to create charitable funds.”

Selezmow said his organization specifically focuses on education, health care, community, arts and culture and the environment. Donors choose from one of the five categories, but there is no limit to their specificity.

“[A] donor cared about non-smoking female ornithologist,” he said. “That’s a very narrow area of giving, right?”

The foundation has been able to find a recipient for that specific donation every year.

Selezmow’s foundation does not run on donations, but works with families and companies to manage $500 million in philanthropic assets through a network of volunteers. There are branches of the foundation in most Arizona cities.

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