23 Mar Fort Myers couple establishes virtual $1 million endowment with Southwest Florida Community Foundation
Ardent community supporters Richard and Vicki Pitbladdo recently collaborated with the Southwest Florida Community Foundation to establish a virtual $1 million endowment.
“This virtual endowment fund is reflective of the new philanthropy that we are seeing in our community,” said Sarah Owen, Southwest Florida Community Foundation president and CEO. “Through their generous giving, Vicki and Richard get to participate in giving now to help local efforts in very specific ways through the Foundation and at the same time establish the endowed fund for giving in perpetuity later.”
The Pitbladdos will be able to remain hands-on with their granting and determine how the proceeds are allocated in the community to causes they care about from their fund. The fund is “virtual” because the Pitbladdos have pledged distributions equal to what a payout would be generated from $1million fund each year to their foundation donor-advised fund. The full $1 million, plus net investment returns, will be paid over a period of time and then endowed for charitable distributions to last in perpetuity.
“We are passionate about supporting nonprofit enterprises with leaders who are themselves passionate, dedicated and responsible,” said Vicki Pitbladdo. “We have also been inspired by the many ways the foundation offers help for us to improve the effectiveness of our philanthropic activities.”
By giving through a traditional donor advised fund, donors can choose which organizations they want to support and decide to include other family members in the giving decision, or not. A virtual endowment fund is like a donor advised fund with a twist. The donors can give now to see their money work as if their fund was an endowed $1 million fund while setting the groundwork with their pledge for funding their future fund.
According to the couple, engaging side-by-side with the foundation was a key element in their decision.
“Working with the foundation gives us more confidence that supported projects are vetted and measured for results,” Richard Pitbladdo said.
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change for the common good through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Foundation partners with individuals, families and corporations who have created more than 400 philanthropic funds. Thanks to them, the Foundation invested $5.4 million in grants and programs to the community. With assets of $115 million, it has provided more than $71 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. The Foundation is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan. Currently, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s regional headquarters are located off College Parkway in South Fort Myers, with satellite offices located on Sanibel Island, in LaBelle (Hendry County) and downtown Fort Myers. For more information, call 239-274-5900 or visit www.floridacommunity.com.