Times Change

When designing a charitable endowment to benefit your community, it’s practically impossible to imagine an unknown future. What happens if a benefitting organization changes significantly, or closes its doors?

By definition, a permanent endowment lasts forever – the principal of the fund remains invested, with a prudent portion of the earnings granted each year, decades beyond the founding donors own lifetimes. A wise strategy in creating a permanent endowment is to include a special provision in your fund agreement to specify a second phase for the fund should these scenarios come to pass.

That’s what the children of Harold and Hilda McCurdy did when setting up a fund in 1994.

Until 2023, when the South Madison Fire Protection Territory was formed, the fund’s earnings benefitted the Pendleton Emergency Ambulance Service. Once the professional service replaced the volunteer organization, a special provision indicated the earnings should be used “at the discretion of the Foundation’s Board of Directors for the betterment of the community.”

At that point, the fund automatically entered its second phase, where it meets community needs of today through Bright Future Grants. Some of these grants, serendipitously, will benefit emergency services, but they may now also support a broad array charitable causes – as the changing needs of an evolving community require.