Patty and Adolf Herst are knowledgeable professionals. She is an estate attorney; he is an investment manager. They are also philanthropists, through their donor-advised fund at the Community Foundation.
“Sometimes my clients have a misconception about how much money and time it takes to put together an effective foundation,” Patty says. “More often than not, they don’t have sufficient resources. Community foundations, on the other hand, take care of the admin. They take care of the investments. They carefully research any entity a donor might be interested in supporting. So when I encounter someone who is charitably inclined, and they learn how simple it is to create a fund, they’re usually very interested.
“We wanted to establish something to honor our daughter,” Patty says. “So we took my advice, and Adolf contacted the Community Foundation.”
As a professional money manager, Adolf analyzed the Community Foundation’s finances and investment history. His verdict? “This foundation is very well run.”
“We didn’t have any particular direction at the outset,” Adolf recalls. “We decided for starters just to put some money aside. We told friends and family, if they were thinking of sending money for a birthday or special occasion, to just send a donation to our fund. Our fund afforded us the opportunity to take time to decide when and how the money would be disbursed.”
“Adolf and I sometimes give a friend legal or financial advice,” Patty adds. “Rather than receiving a gift from them, we ask that they make a donation to our fund. They get to be a donor—and they receive a tax deduction.”
“Mechanically this has all been wonderful for us,” Adolf explains, “because there’s absolutely no effort on our part. Anyone who has any idea of doing something like this should consider the Community Foundation. They do a marvelous service for people who want to give.”
The Hersts want their children to continue their tradition of involvement, and here Adolf mentions another benefit. “Setting up a fund is so easy that we have designated money from our IRAs to establish funds at the Community Foundation in our children’s names. That will give them both the means and the vehicle for supporting whatever organizations are close to their hearts.”
“Some of success is smarts,” Patty says, “but we know that a whole lot of it is luck, at least it’s been that way in our lifetimes. So we feel it’s important to give back. And we want this to carry on.”
Through their donor-advised fund, the Hersts’ charitable work is doing exactly that. Patty sums it up: “I think the Community Foundation is run absolutely magnificently.”
Adolf agrees. “We’re really pleased to be here.”