Blog : Inspirations

Giving Like a Rockefeller, Even if You’re Not Super-Rich

Giving Like a Rockefeller, Even if You’re Not Super-Rich

David Rockefeller, who died last week at 101, was a giant among American philanthropists. He continued the tradition of giving that ran from his grandfather, John D., the founder of Standard Oil; through his father, John Jr.; and his oldest brother, John III.

In his lifetime, Mr. Rockefeller gave away an estimated $2 billion to organizations, from Harvard and Rockefeller Universities to a “Living Pyramid” made of wild grass and flowers in Queens. “No individual has contributed more to the commercial and civic life of New York City over a longer period of time than David Rockefeller,” Michael R. Bloomberg, the former New York mayor, said in a statement.

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A “Compassionate” Shark Tank

A “Compassionate” Shark Tank

Over the last several years, I have met with hundreds of individual donors, businesses, the faith community and family foundations who are looking for ways to fund great ideas and great organizations in our Southwest Florida nonprofit sector.  I also meet with countless nonprofits who are seeking their funding.

I thought bringing them together in our Compassionate Shark Tank might be a great way to introduce them to each other.  It isn’t our intent to throw the nonprofits to the sharks but conversely, to introduce them to our own Mark Cubans and “Mr. Wonderfuls” (two of the investors on TV’s Shark Tank) who want to help.

Nonprofits that have submitted some great ideas to the Community Foundation for funding consideration through our Community Impact Grants come face to face with a group of funders and community stakeholders interested in investing time and money in the causes they represent.  The Compassionate Shark Tank panel consists of a wide range of donors and philanthropists, some with Donor Advised Funds at the Community Foundation and some who have foundations of their own.  The fun happens when a cross section of funders come together to make a nonprofits idea a reality.  The nonprofits have three minutes to pitch their ideas, and the compassionate “sharks” ask questions for 10 minutes.

 

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Because you only turn 40 once!

Because you only turn 40 once!

Congratulations to the Southwest Florida Community Foundation board of trustees and senior advisors celebrating 40 years of philanthropy.  The anniversary events were kicked off tonight with the awarding of the John Sheppard Award to Jay Brett and Dawn Marie Driscoll in front of a packed Community Hub filled with trustees and senior advisor trustees, spouses and friends.  The “dynamic duo,” coined by Board Chairman Guy Whitesman, did not disappoint with heartfelt words of acceptance of a journey well taken as leaders, ….and followers.  We say a hearty THANK YOU.  Happy 40th Anniversary.  Here we go!

 

Jay Brett and Dawn-Marie Driscoll Recieve the John Sheppard AwardSarah Owen and Larry Hobbs MDMyra Walters and Aurora Badia MDJohn Sheppard, Bob daFrota, Bill FreyJoe Mazurkiewicz and Jay BrettGary Aubuchon and David LucasHugh Kinsey, Aurora Badia MD, Sydney RobertsTrustees before toastIMG_8938IMG_8937IMG_8936Cindy Banyai, Howard Leland, Ron PennCharles Idelson and Juan BendeckTom Smoot, Archie Hayward and Chauncey GossScott White, Robbie Roepstorff, Larry HobbsArchie Hayward, Carolyn ConantAmy Gravina and David Lucas

Collective impact capacity building: Finding gold in Southwest Florida

Collective impact capacity building: Finding gold in Southwest Florida

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation is leading an emergent process of collective impact and capacity building. The Foundation’s regional initiative and collective impact work, including the FutureMakers Coalition, is explored here as a community development strategy. Building collective impact capacity to support the Foundation’s regional initiatives includes organizing grantees into “tribes” to develop collaborative networks and facilitate concentrated organizational and leadership capacity building, and levering its grant processes to build collective impact and program capacity. The Foundation team relies on the Tribal Alchemy framework and the Getting to Outcomes model to enhance understanding and execution of collective impact and increase capacity of organizations in the region. The development of the systems of the FutureMakers Coalition in support of collective impact is also explored. This work contributes to theory use in collective impact capacity building and discusses real-world ongoing processes.

IRAs can benefit charity while reducing taxes for heirs

IRAs can benefit charity while reducing taxes for heirs

When balancing financial goals for retirement, charitable giving, and what is left to heirs, an Individual Retirement Account is normally set aside to provide additional retirement income and benefit heirs. But in many cases, money managers suggest a different strategy that makes more efficient use of funds by reducing taxes.

A couple, or often a remaining spouse, may have more than he or she could need in an IRA. This is money that was saved and saved but other retirement income and pensions have provided enough. With a simple swap strategy, an IRA can provide a gift for charity instead of other already tax-free funds, reducing the children’s or grandchildren’s estate taxes. Why give it to the government? It can be done by changing the beneficiary of an IRA as a charitable bequest.

 

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Every dollar saved creates a gift that will keep on giving

Every dollar saved creates a gift that will keep on giving

Frank Stern liked saving money. So much so he avoided the Midpoint Memorial Bridge for more than 14 years to save a buck — literally.

“I think he took the bridge once or twice,” said Larry Sickler, a long-time supervisor for FTE Developers, one of several local businesses operated by Mr. Stern and his brother Ed Stern. “He never went across the Midpoint because he didn’t want to pay the toll. He always said, ‘I can get where I want to go without paying a dollar.’”

 

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