Everyday, I like to take some time to think about a few things for which I’m grateful. While there are certainly many things I count among my blessings, my family and my community are at the top of the list. I’m also grateful that I am able to do what I love, which is helping my friends and neighbors live their passion through charitable giving at the Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona.
You might know ACF of Sedona as a grantmaker supporting local causes, but our annual grantmaking is only one piece. Our work itself is mobilizing enduring philanthropy to strengthen our community. It is, in other words, building an endowment for the enduring benefit of Sedona and the Verde Valley.
When you hear the word “endowment” you might think of the endowments held by universities, churches, or hospitals. These are the “forever funds” where supporters direct donations to ensure the work that matters to them can go on in perpetuity.
Communities can have endowments, too, and that’s where ACF of Sedona comes in. Since our establishment in 1991, donors of ACF of Sedona have grown our community’s endowment to more than $10 million in assets held in more than 50 charitable funds. These funds are established by individuals and families who make a gift to support charitable work that benefits their community. The dollars of that gift are invested, and the interest from their earnings go directly into our community in the form of grants and scholarships.
Depending on a donor’s goals and interests, a number of options are available to them. My role is to listen and help you find the most effective way to realize your charitable goals with the assets you have available. Many people think that a philanthropist is a mega-millionaire who starts a foundation on their own, but that’s not the case. Philanthropy is the desire to promote the welfare of others, it is the expression of generosity in great ways and small. I believe we are all philanthropists, whether or not we see it.
I joined ACF because I wanted to help people in my community see their potential impact as philanthropists and realize their charitable goals.
Through ACF of Sedona, you can support any and all of your cherished causes in a meaningful and enduring way. The process of discovering how you will leave a legacy in your community is joyous in and of itself, but it results in something even greater. Through the power of endowment, your gift will make an impact not only today, but for generations to come.
This is your community, and ACF of Sedona is your foundation. We’re here because we believe every person can be a philanthropist, and everyone deserves the opportunity to give where they live.
Jennifer Perry is the Regional Director, ACF of Sedona. She has more than 25 years of nonprofit management experience.
At ACF of Sedona, we have the pleasure of working with kind and generous people every day. But sometimes, we get to witness acts of unexpected selfless service that literally bring tears to our eyes.
Recently, I was fortunate to facilitate a very special gift in our community. Donors, who we will call Mr. and Mrs. Smith (as they would like to remain anonymous), came to ACF to set up a charitable gift annuity, an investment tool that provides lifetime income to the donor and, at the end of life, provides a sizeable gift to a nonprofit beneficiary.
But this annuity was unusual. Instead of providing income for the donors or children, the annuity was set up to provide $1,000 per month for life to a local, self-employed, near-retirement couple. The donors knew this couple had been putting off retirement and medical treatment due to financial difficulties.
One of the donors explained, “They are an exceptionally nice, hard-working couple, always giving of themselves whether it was a helping hand, volunteer work or financial assistance to those in more need than themselves. They are the type of people who would give you their last dollar if you needed it, but no one was looking out for them.”
When the beneficiaries were notified of the gift, they were floored. “It was like winning Publishers Clearing House,” said the husband, overcome by emotion. They were in tears when they came into the ACF of Sedona to sign the necessary papers.
The donors were equally thrilled. The wife was beaming and the usually reserved husband had a twinkle of light in his eye as they filled out their portion of the paperwork. They were simply delighted to be able to do it.
And of course the nonprofit organization chosen to receive the remainder of the investment is a worthy cause that will put the estate gift to good use in our community.
These local donors show us that giving comes in many forms. Instead of giving a simple gift to their chosen charity or even leaving a gift in their estate, they invested those funds to support good people AND a great organization at the same time.
During these tumultuous times, it is uplifting to know that people like these anonymous donors are out there, working in big and small ways, to help lighten the load of others in need. Let’s use their example to keep this neighborly spirit going!
Give Where You Live with Confidence
By: Jennifer Perry, Regional Director, ACF of Sedona
Did you know that, thanks to our partners, ACF of Sedona has already passed the $1 million mark in local charitable giving this year?
We are the local charitable giving experts, and we would love to help you put your philanthropic dollars where they will have the most impact.
Some donors know exactly which organizations they would like to fund, but others gain great benefit from pooling their gifts with others to create large, meaningful grants that really “move the needle” when it comes to bettering our community.
Through the local community fund, ACF of Sedona is able to identify grant to the worthy projects being proposed in Sedona and the Verde Valley each year. An expert panel vets each organization and project for viability, ensuring that funds will be well spent.
Grants made from this fund are made possible from donors like who you chose to combine their gifts with others for maximum benefit. This fund is the centerpiece of our grantmaking each year.
You can donate to this fund today, or call Jennifer Perry at 928.399.7218 with questions. We match great people with great causes every day.