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The following article appears on page 7 of the Fidelity CGF Annual Report. It is not hidden in a small paragraph, but rather rates an entire page along with a photo of our Academy. Fidelity believes we are doing something so unique that our efforts are featured in their Annual Report.
Ed Weckel (Article Follows)
An Enduring Gift to an Alma Mater
Many graduating classes from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point present gifts to their alma mater, financing needs such as renovating sports facilities and funding academic chairs. Members of one class, however, wanted to do a little more. Individual class members had made numerous past donations - and will continue to do so. But, as they approached their 40th
reunion, they were ready for something new.
Instead of making a one-time contribution to commemorate the 40th anniversary of their graduation, they chose to contribute to a donor-advised fund account with the Charitable Gift Fund. As a result, instead of a single gift, they can recommend repeated grants to the U.S Military Academy - in perpetuity.
The graduates were well aware of the potential of endowed giving. They knew their alma mater would receive more in the long run if, instead of providing an outright contribution, they invested their gift as part of a long-term granting strategy. But they were reluctant to take on the expenses and responsibilities of establishing their own foundation.
One of their classmates, a retired colonel, researched their options and suggested the Charitable Gift Fund. "We wanted someone to handle the paperwork for us, to provide the opportunity for our contributions to grow, and to allow us to name successors to continue to recommend the same type of grants we'd choose," says the colonel. "The Charitable Gift Fund offered exactly what we were looking for."
The class approved the concept at its 40th reunion, conducted a funding campaign, and used that money to establish a donor-advised fund account with the Charitable Gift Fund. Four alumni were selected to allocate the contributions among the investment pools and to draft a plan for succession.
"Our whole focus is service to the nation," explains the colonel, outlining a detailed plan for long-term giving. In keeping with the service objective, the first choice for successors are descendant graduates of the U.S. Military Academy, followed by direct descendants who have served or are serving in the armed forces. The third choice would be descendants who serve the country in a capacity outside the military.
By their calculations, over time the growth potential of the Gift Fund's investment pools will enable them to give substantially more to the Academy than any of them had previously thought possible.
"Most of us stayed in the army for 20 or 30 years," the colonel says. "We're living comfortably, but we're not millionaires. We're just a small group of guys using a donor-advised fund to help the Academy."