What will your legacy be?

Denise Sorom, Director of Philanthropy
Every year arts organizations throughout North Central Washington get a financial boost thanks to Fred Johnson.  Every year aspiring agriculture students receive scholarships thanks to Jane Lovejoy. Every year nonprofits throughout the Methow Valley will receive grants thanks to Ken Westman. Lives will be changed, communities will grow stronger, and dreams will be realized thanks to these donors.  What is most remarkable is that Fred, Jane, and Ken are no longer here with us but established these legacy gifts through their wills.
Much ink has been spilled about the relentlessness of 2020, this year that keeps bringing us all to the brink with so many looming threats.  For many of us, it has caused us to explore some pretty heavy “what if” scenarios:  What if I lose my business due to the shutdown?  What if I lose my house in a wildfire? What if my children fall too far behind in school?  What if I or a family member falls victim to this virus?  People are also asking themselves what really matters to them in life, what values do they hold dear and how will these values be carried forth beyond their lifetimes.
At the Community Foundation of North Central Washington, all this questioning has resulted in a surge of donors who are deciding what their legacies will be in this community. Just as Fred, Jane, and Ken did, people are considering what causes they care about most, what types of youth might need a leg-up to achieve their future goals, or what communities they want to see prosper.  
Luckily, it is our specialty at CFNCW to help people with these exact questions and to develop customized plans that will meet their needs.  While many of you may know the Community Foundation from the grant-making, fundraising and scholarship work that we do throughout Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan Counties, the reality is that none of this work would be possible without the core of what we do: stewarding permanently endowed charitable funds established by donors either during their lifetimes or through their estate plans. Over the past 34 years, we have worked with countless donors on their charitable goals. Some folks want to make sure that their church or a specific charity continues to receive funding from them beyond their lifetime.  Some donors care deeply about the environment and want to see all groups doing good work in that field receive support. Other donors care about a specific community and want to see future generations succeed there. Some may want some combination of all of the above. Some donors want to be anonymous and some would like their family name to be remembered.
What is most important to realize is that one does not need to be a millionaire to leave a legacy. CFNCW has worked with all variety of donors, from schoolteachers to physical therapists and orchardists to physicians.  We are happy to sit down with you and help you decide what you want for the generations that follow you.  It does not take a huge fortune to leave a legacy, only a huge heart. 


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