Community Foundation Magic Strikes Again

It’s happened again.  Those magical gifts that can transform a community foundation … and a community.

You are familiar with some of the stories.  David Gundlach leaves over $150 million to the Community Foundation of Elkhart County. John Santikos bequeaths over $600 million to the San Antonio Area Foundation.

Now, add the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region in Appleton, Wisconsin, to the list.  They’ve just announced an estate gift of more than $100 million to create a permanently endowed donor advised fund that will benefit causes important to the late David and Rita Nelson and their family, primarily in the Fox Cities and Green Bay areas of Wisconsin.

David Nelson managed the finances for the companies that published the Appleton Post-Crescent and Green Bay Press Gazette. Later he invested in radio stations and other businesses. Rita became a teacher after raising the couple’s three sons, returning to college and earning a teaching degree at age 50.  They were married for 73 years and died within five months of each other – Rita on Feb. 16, 2017, at age 93 and David on July 18, 2017, at age 96.

What’s the common thread here?  People who love their community, and work hard to amass significant wealth.  And a high-quality community foundation that is ready, willing and able to receive the gift and administer it consistent with the donor’s wishes.

Ask yourself – is your community foundation in a position to receive one of these magical gifts?  We tend to get consumed with daily “stuff” – but are you in a position to find, and secure, these extraordinary legacies?

Did these community foundations just get lucky? A wise person once told me that luck occurs when preparedness meets opportunity.  Elkhart, San Antonio and the Community Foundation for the Fox River Valley Region were prepared when opportunity came along.