I love true feel-good stories. Today I have a story about a couple who gave back to our region in a transformational way. The husband was an early tech entrepreneur in San Jose who loved to fly and gravitated towards gliders. His aviation passion motivated them to purchase a second home in the Jacks Valley area near Minden to soar the epic Sierra Mountain “atmospheric waves.” Their love for the Carson Valley grew, along with their wealth. In time they decided to use their wealth to make a difference in the place they loved. Their investment advisor introduced them to the Community Foundation.
Our first conversation took place around their dining room table. We took in the inspiring view of the valley, over the Ascuaga ranch and other pristine properties. They spoke about their two driving passions – wanting to help children in Douglas County and Carson City and preserving majestic places along the Sierras. Over almost ten years, they granted more than $3.5 million to these causes. They were cheered to learn that some of the grants included earnings that their donor advised fund generated while invested with the Community Foundation. Through the beauty of good planning, they gifted appreciated stocks. After avoiding capital gains and charitable gift deductions, the couple’s actual “out-of-pocket” was a fraction of the amount they granted.
One of their significant passion grants procured whiteboard technology and interactive devices to every student in the seven Douglas County elementary schools, tablets to all the middle school students in Carson City, and teachers’ training on using this technology. Their vision and generosity gave the students and teachers a jumpstart that improved thousands of test scores and raised aspirations to lift a generation of students. You will not find their names attributed to the improvements, which was just fine with them.
You will find their name on a project to preserve thousands of acres in the Sierra Valley! Along with two other families, this couple made seven-figure gifts to the Northern Sierra Partnership that helped leverage federal funding to acquire the rights to lands that will be enjoyed into the next millennia. The Northern Sierra Partnership is now in the process of constructing a visitor center for birders around the world who come to the Sierra Valley for the unique splendor found in our backyard.
These are gifts that endure and the legacies that are made. The Community Foundation has had the privilege of working with hundreds of families on their legacy plans and with dozens of families who make significant gifts that improve Nevadans’ lives every day. The families who make these gifts during their lifetime have no regrets, and their children and grandchildren take immense pride in the legacy they created. Although not all of us can make such large gifts during our lives, most of us can make a bequest arrangement that will serve as our legacy.
If you’d like to learn more about how the Community Foundation works with families to help create legacies, please give me a call.
Chris Askin, President/CEO
Connecting people who care with causes that matter