I can not recall where I have found any evidence that my family made a donation to a public subscription. So I shall use a modern example.
A few years ago, I found on line a reference made to an ancestor - William Arthur West. William had been in the Army and was stationed in what was known at the time as Zulu land. His wife accompanied him. While in South Africa his wife passed away and is the only white female buried in the cemetery.
The reference I found on line was in relation to the Rotary Club for the town where William lived in England with his second wife after he left the army. The Rotary Club had links to the town in South Africa where William's first wife was buried. As you might expect, modern provisions and schooling in the local area is not brilliant. I had reciprocated the details with the Rotary Club about William and when I sent off the CD of data for their archives enclosed a cheque in memory of William and his first wife. The Rotary Club has strong links with the local community and has provided financial assistance in relation to the school and running water.
A second modern example is The Families for Genealogists Project organised by Judy Webster. I joined the team back in October and knew that I wanted to contribute, but I also wanted my contributions to mean something. My first loan was made in December in memory of my Grandmother's 99th Birthday and I plan to commemorate various family events during the year. To join the project click HERE.