FORT MYERS, Fla. (April 20, 2015) – The Southwest Florida Community Foundation recently established a new fund for the Hynden family of Fort Myers.
The Hynden Family Charitable Fund was established by Eric and Sherri Hynden, both chartered financial consultants, to continue their lifelong mission of helping others after they’re gone.
The couple has spent their lives helping others and have also spent many years teaching their sons Daniel, 25, and Ben, 27, the value and joy of volunteerism and charitable contributions.
The elder Hyndens’ commitment to serve was strengthened after Eric read a book by Stanley Tam.
“He was a Christian man who gave away 90 percent of his company,” Eric said. “We set up our business to meet our salaries and use 80 percent of the profits to fund missions and charities.”
Tam’s book and the business patronage of the Southwest Florida community have influenced the Hyndens’ charitable giving to agencies supporting children and Christian missions. They’ve also been involved with the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and its work, guiding clients with philanthropic interests to the organization.
The family has traveled around the world on faith-based mission trips and has donated their time and money to charities that help the underserved, be it the homeless, orphans or unmarried mothers. Locally, they support Teen Challenge’s program for drug addiction, the Gabriel House for abandoned, displaced and medically needy children, Verity Pregnancy and Medical Resource Center, and other causes.
“Any group that focuses on the spiritual health of the family and keeping families together is really important to me,” said Sherri. “There are needs everywhere you look. We have been so blessed by this community, and it is our way of giving back. We’re excited to get to know the groups the Community Foundation works with. They do such a good job paying attention to the community’s needs.”
The Hyndens will continue to contribute financially to their legacy annually while allocating money to charities of their choice each year.
“The Southwest Florida Community Foundation is convenient; its people are personable, and they know the needs of the community,” said Eric. “We wanted to leave something for our sons in our estate and more importantly, we wanted to set up a foundation that continues to give money away.”
Daniel and Ben, who serve as fund co-advisors, have followed their parents’ career paths in finance and work in the family’s Flint Financial Group office at UBS in Fort Myers. Sherri is a senior wealth strategy associate, and Eric is senior vice president of investments and a senior portfolio manager.
“We want to get Daniel and Benjamin involved now and take them with us to the Southwest Florida Community Foundation each year to make decisions as a family,” added Sherri. “We want them to see where the needs are. We are thankful to be able to do this.”
The Community Foundation has also introduced new programs to empower donors with ownership on the issues they care deeply about. Donors with donor-advised funds can choose their investment strategy, from conservative to more aggressive, and they can continue to work with their investment advisors through the foundation.
“We’ve made it even more convenient for donors to become vested in their giving, launching a Donor View portal on our new website that provides 24/7 internet access to their funds,” said Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. “Here, they can track the history of their giving, create reports and receipts, and conveniently make grants.”
As leaders, conveners, grant makers and concierges of philanthropy, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is a foundation built on community leadership with an inspired history of fostering regional change for the common good in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Community Foundation, founded in 1976, connects donors and their philanthropic aspirations with evolving community needs. With assets of more than $80 million, it has provided more than $60 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves. Last year, it granted more than $2.8 million to nonprofit organizations supporting education, animal welfare, arts, healthcare and human services. The Community Foundation granted $782,000 in nonprofit grants including more than $400,000 in regional community impact grants and additional $450,000 in scholarship grants.
For more information about the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, call 239-274-5900 or visit www.floridacommunity.com.