How Will You Secure Our Jewish Future?

By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
 In 2016, the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle partnered with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation to bring to our community LIFE & LEGACY® —a four-year program that secures a vibrant Jewish community tomorrow by helping communal organizations build a robust culture of legacy giving today.

We’ve reached the end of LIFE & LEGACY Year 4 and I’m proud to look back on how much of an impact the program has made, and will make in the years to come, for our community.

$13.2 million in estimated after-lifetime legacy gift commitments secured by the cohort of 13 participating organizations.

509 letters of intent pledging legacy gifts to many of our community organizations.

72 percent of all legacy gifts legally formalized.

$171,675 granted from the Federation to the participating organizations for meeting and exceeding program goals and metrics.

These are heartening numbers but what’s more important is what they represent—a deepened commitment to keeping Jewish Puget Sound healthy and thriving for future generations, and a greater sense that each communal organization contributes to the strength of the whole community. At the core of it all is stronger relationships and a greater spirit of collaboration—within and between the organizations that do so much for the community and with donors, like you, whose generosity and dedication are the spark behind Jewish life.

The LIFE & LEGACY initiative is both strategic and donor-centric, effectively building endowments through after-lifetime gifts. Going forward, as we have seen during the COVID-19 crisis, endowments will be increasingly important for ensuring the financial future of Jewish organizations and their capacity to provide the many valuable services on which our community depends. Endowments are the gift that keep on giving—legacy gifts deposited into endowments generate income in perpetuity.

The accomplishments of LIFE & LEGACY are a testament to Jewish organizations with the foresight to plan ahead for the future. To lay and professional leaders with the commitment to do the work of nurturing the relationships that is necessary for building endowments. And, especially, to the donors whose vision and generosity have planted the seeds of a bright Jewish tomorrow. A legacy for life, for which we are so thankful.