Foundation receives record estate gift



SIDNEY — The estate of Sidney native and Columbus resident Douglas Wilson Allinger has given more than $3.3 million to the Community Foundation of Shelby County, making it the largest estate gift to date received by the Foundation. Allinger, who passed away in February 2021, was a prominent fundraising consultant in the Columbus area. The estate gift arrived in December.

“We are grateful to Doug for remembering his hometown with this estate gift,” said Marian Spicer, executive director. “During his lifetime, Doug graciously gave his expertise to Shelby County organizations that needed fundraising guidance and he did so at no charge. He believed in Sidney and encouraged innovation in serving our residents.”

The gift was placed in the Prime the Pump Fund, which he established in 2019 in memory of his parents Alma Wilson Allinger and Robert Lochard Allinger. In choosing the fund’s name, he related it to childhood memories of the water well pump on his grandparent’s farm. In those days, a pump needed a little water added to the valve to prime it. Once primed, the pump operated better and produced volumes of water in excess of the amount used to prime the pump. Similarly, Allinger had expressed that the Community Foundation is primed to initiate efforts when it has the resources to make all parts of a project come together.

“The Prime the Pump Fund gives the Community Foundation an opportunity to seek out emerging local issues and opportunities,” said Jessica Fortkamp, donor relations director. “Things like Match Day and Skills Scholarships were once unknown and it was difficult to gain support at their beginnings. Through numerous conversations with Doug, he wanted us to be on the cutting edge of things that are needed in Shelby County and to have a resource to pursue them.”

With the recent growth of the Prime the Pump Fund, it will begin providing larger grant and initiative support in 2023.

The Community Foundation of Shelby County administers 220 charitable funds that help donors give to community needs and favorite charities now and in the future. To learn more, view their website at or contact Fortkamp at 937-497-7800.