Tag Archives: legacy

Major gifts: It’s about relationships

One of the great pleasures in working with nonprofits is being part of the excitement of a monumental announcement. Yesterday one of my clients, the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation, announced the largest gift in its 30-year history. A donor bequeathed $4.8 million to the Foundation to assist the 16 public schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District with critical needs in this era of dramatic budget cuts, as well as to establish an endowment in the donor’s name, honoring her parents’ legacy while providing ongoing individualized mentoring in the arts for underprivileged children in these schools.

SMMEFThe magnitude of this gift underscores the fact that donors are out there. They may not be well-known. They may not even be alumni of the schools they choose to support. But they are out there. It’s all about building relationships. Continue reading


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The Power of Legacy Stories

Here’s a compelling story capturing the impact of alumni legacy stories. Famous or not, alumni of our institutions have life stories to tell, and facilitating that as part of the cultivation and/or stewardship phases for that alumnus/alumna and his/her family can be very powerful. I’ve had the great fortune to be a part of discovering and sharing some amazing legacies in my work, and significant gifts to the institutions in questions have resulted from that process.

As a genealogy nut I’m particularly fond of this type of work, but this is a must for any development professional.

The Narrative Company

Why Gather Legacy Stories?

If you’re interested in learning a little about why you should bother, why not read this true story… 

The Phyllis Summerhayes Story

While I believed that gathering and sharing legacy stories was important in honouring donors, it was through my administration of an estate gift to the University of Victoria in 2005, that I truly understood its immense power. 

It all started one morning when I received a call from a local lawyer informing me of an estate gift for the University of Victoria. 

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