Bequests: the fastest growing part of the Foundation

If you’re an estate planning attorney, you may already know that the Foundation serves as a watchdog for generous people who pass away and want to leave a legacy benefiting the Valley.  But you might not know this: by June, half of our total assets will have originated via bequest.   

An eight-figure gift is on its way to the Foundation from the estate of a local woman who passed away 2019.  We’ll have more to say about this extraordinary gift soon.  Once it lands, the Foundation will hold nearly $50 million in legacy funds, most of which are permanently endowed.  

For many advisors, the Foundation has been synonymous, over the years, with Donor Advised Funds (DAFs).  We are known for our work as a consultant (and back-office partner) to some of the most committed lifetime givers in the Valley and beyond.    

This work remains deeply important to the Foundation, but increasingly, we are being trusted to hold and steward the charitable assets of people after they are no longer with us.  

In this solemn role, our promise is to live within the four corners of your client’s estate plan and the boundaries of Napa County.  As a multi-faceted Foundation that distributes grants in every area of the nonprofit sector (education, health, social services, the arts, etc.), we aren’t here to sell our own agenda in the context of your client’s estate plan.  

We ask your clients what they care about, how they want to be remembered, and how the Foundation can advance their charitable wishes after they are gone.  

Longtime Napa residents David and Jane Gotelli shared a passion for small animal welfare.  Read about the Legacy Fund they established at the Foundation to advance the humane treatment and well-being of companion animals in the Valley.  A permanent endowment, bearing their names, has so far distributed more than $500,000 for the cause closest to their hearts.  

Other donors have established Legacy Funds which support: 

  • Scholarships for military vets and their dependents 
  • Trails, culverts and benches in Napa’s Alston Park 
  • School music programs 
  • Education and youth development programs 
  • Scholarships for first-generation college students 
  • Scholarships for overlooked (but hardworking) B students 

And that’s just a small sample… 

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