October 19, 2017

Norm and Nancy Klath made their home in Princeton in 1966. In their early days here, both worked demanding jobs and had little time for volunteer work.

Norm commuted to JP Morgan in New York City on a train so packed with people — at its worst in the 1970s — that he and his fellow Princetonians perched on camping stools in the aisle every morning. His days often began around 6 a.m. and ended around 10 p.m.

Nancy worked closer to home – at Princeton University, working her way up to becoming the Acting University Librarian.

But once they retired, they knew they wanted to give back to the community. That eventually led them to create a Donor Advised Fund at the Princeton Area Community Foundation.

“There could not be a better place to have manage your funds,” he said. “I was certainly attracted to the Donor Advised Fund for the convenience and efficiency for major gifts. It’s easy to put money in and easy to recommend donations. I appreciate that. I make a phone call when I want to do something and it gets done.”

Donating appreciated stock is simple and gives the couple a tax advantage.

“You only have to do it one time a year, as opposed to every time you make an individual gift, so it’s a very efficient way to manage your charitable deduction,” he said. “It’s very convenient. We make one or two stock transfers a year and just dole it out as we set our philanthropic goals.”

Norm grew up in Iowa and Nancy was raised in Ohio. Both had parents who were active in their local communities.

“They were certainly not of extensive means, but they were generous up to their capacity,” he said. “My wife and I grew up in families that were supportive of various nonprofits and causes, so when we see organizations doing good work and doing it effectively, we think they merit support.”

Norm is also active in several local nonprofit organizations, including Community Without Walls. He is a Board Member of the Friends of the Princeton University Library and the Princeton HealthCare System Foundation. Because of his background in finance, he also chairs the Planned Giving Committee of the HealthCare Foundation and is a member of the Investment Committee of the Princeton Healthcare System. He recently completed his term as Board President of the Princeton Senior Resource Center and remains a Board Member of that organization, whose endowment is among the nonprofit funds held at the Community Foundation.

“The Community Foundation manages the endowments of local nonprofit organizations, at minimal cost, with a very appropriate risk-return balance – they are not undertaking undue risk,” he said. “They are appropriately conservative for a nonprofit organization. The expense is minimal for the quality of investment advice. It’s a wonderful service.”

Norm also appreciates the Community Foundation’s nonprofit education seminars and he says, through its grants programs, the Community Foundation does “an excellent job identifying meritorious causes.”

“I just think it’s wonderful that the Community Foundation has undertaken to help local nonprofits be better at what they do,” he said. “I know the Princeton Senior Resource Center has benefited from the advice they get from the Community Foundation.”

He and his wife love living in Princeton and believe it is important to support the community.

“During my working career, I worked very hard and didn’t have a lot of time to engage in the local community until I retired,” he said. “My wife and I retired early – at 55. We wanted to give back to the community, not only by volunteering, but we also feel it’s important to be philanthropic if you have the capacity. It’s good for the community.”