Donor Advised Funds allow Charitable Giving

For Larry Halpin, charitable giving through his donor advised fund has been a learning process, and he is thoroughly enjoying the education.

His mother, Margaret (Peg) Halpin, met and married Henry Haegg, Jr. five years after the death of Larry’s father. When Henry passed away a few years ago, he introduced his five stepchildren to charitable giving by leaving them donor advised funds at the Community Foundation so they would be able to designate how they wanted to support causes they care about that are in need of assistance.

“It’s through Henry’s thoughtfulness that all of us find ourselves in this position,” said Larry.

While Larry has lived in our community since 1993, he still has strong ties and affection for his hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He has learned that the beauty of a donor advised fund is that donations can be made in all the communities he cares about, including where he grewup.

Close to the Halpin family’s heart is the restoration of a window at the Historical Society in Cedar Rapids. The offices, which are in a former mortuary facility, contained a window designed by artist Grant Wood that was in desperate need of refurbishing.

The five stepchildren decided to finance the cost of the refurbishment, and it has since been restored to its original beauty. Larry has had three bouts of cancer and went back to the University of Iowa for treatment. While receiving care at the hospital, he stayed at Hope Lodge, an adult version of Ronald McDonald house.

Hope Lodge has been crucial to his recovery and Larry loves that he is able to give back in a significant way to them through his donor advised fund.

Larry credits the Community Foundation for educating him on local causes that need assistance. Without the Community Foundation’s guidance, he wouldn’t be able to research the enormous amount of need on his own.

“The Community Foundation has been more than helpful. I wouldn’t know what to do with the funds if I didn’t have the Foundation to provide me with the background to make informed decisions,” he said.

Like other donor advised fund holders, Larry supports locally as well outside of Collier County. During the Community Foundation’s last fiscal year, 75% of grants stayed in Collier County.

Larry has given to over 25 local charities and causes including the Collier Comes Together Fund for Hurricane Irma, Care for Collier for Red Tide Relief, the FGCU tennis team, and PAWS Assistance Dogs.

Because his mom was a musician with a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and encouraged her children to play an instrument, Larry, and his other siblings support the Naples Music Club, now known as the Music Foundation of Greater Naples.

Henry started a scholarship through the Naples Music Club, an organization Peg was instrumental in founding, that Larry and his siblings continue to support. Larry encourages his friends and family to join in on his charitable ventures.

“It’s extraordinarily fun to give even if you don’t always know the results or how the funds are used,” he said.

Larry is glad his giving isn’t limited to one area because his interests expand as he learns more about the many needs.

“At first, one realizes that they have funds to give. But then the real charge kicks in when you realize that in giving, you are helping others even if a little bit,” he explained.

If you are interested in opening a donor advised fund to contribute to all of the causes you support, contact Lindsey Touchette, Vice President of Development at ltouchette@cfcollier.org or 239.649.5000.

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