The Guilford Foundation (TGF) announces the creation of four new legacy funds to add to its family of funds, including, for the first time, two “donor advised” funds. Three of these funds also represent a new incentive for fund development: an “Acorn Fund” option, which allows the donors time to build up the fund to a meaningful level.
“We hope to grow the number of funds at the Foundation by reaching a broad cross section of Guilford individuals and organizations and encouraging them to create a perpetual legacy that will keep on benefitting Guilford for decades to come,” says Board President John Crawford. “Increasing the number of legacy funds mean more resources for the community.”
Carol Sirot, who has a well-established history of philanthropy in the greater New Haven area, approached TGF in December 2011 to create a legacy in her hometown. Working with Carol and her philanthropic vision, TGF created its very first Donor Advised fund, which allows the donor to make recommendations on how to allocate the income from the fund to causes that matter to her.
The “Gustave & Carol L. Sirot Fund” is designed to support initiatives, projects and nonprofit organizations that serve to improve the quality of life in Guilford, with special consideration to helping women who are disabled, abused, have chronic health issues, are hearing impaired, or need help staying in their homes. Up to four times a year, Carol will have the opportunity to advise on a grant to an organization that meets her criteria.
In response to a question as to why Carol cares so deeply about giving back to her community, Carol responded, “By helping other people, I have discovered that I am helping myself.”
Soon after Carol’s gift, TGF former Board President Tim Geelan approached TGF with a creative fund idea for a group of his friends. In addition to Tim’s commitment to the Guilford Foundation, he is also a dedicated soccer player. Tim managed to combine these two passions and channel the energy into creating a fund called the “Guilford Bell Curve Charitable Fund,” which, like the Gustave & Carol L. Sirot Fund, is a donor advised fund.
What’s unique about this fund is that is has been started collectively by his teammates rather than by just one person. In addition, we created this fund as our first “Acorn Fund,” which means that TGF will give some time to the donors to build up the fund to reach the $10,000 minimum for creating a fund. This opportunity represents a new flexibility by the Guilford Foundation as we work to better meet the needs of those in the community who may be new to philanthropy but are interested in getting involved.
Executive Director Liza Janssen Petra notes, “Our mission is to connect people who care with the causes that matter to them, and we want to make this as compelling as possible to people in the community who may not consider themselves philanthropists. Anyone can create a named fund with as little as just a few thousand dollars to start.”
The third new fund created is the Saint George Knights of Columbus Fund for Children in Need, which was established by the Guilford Knights of Columbus to provide designated, annual funding to the Guilford Social Services department to provide financial support for kids in need. Like the Guilford Bell Curve Fund, this is an “Acorn Fund.”
Finally, the children of Guilford legacy Corky Fisher established a fund in her memory—the Corky Fisher Educational Fund. Corky was a friend of Dr. Elisabeth Adams, and, during her lifetime, Corky quietly provided funding to support those issues promoted by Dr. Adams. Corky’s kids established a fund that will continue to support those issues in perpetuity, in particular, those that provide Guilford youth with a set of positive values preparing them for successful integration into adult life.
The Guilford Foundation is pleased that these donors entrusted us with their philanthropic vision and for caring enough to leave a lasting legacy for the community. For information about how to create legacy funds at the Guilford Foundation, Acorn Funds, and other philanthropic opportunities, contact Liza Janssen Petra at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website www.guilfordfoundation.org.