“My late wife and I developed an interest in supporting the library many years ago,” said Chris Carpenter. “Molly found her calling as a first-grade teacher. She absolutely loved the thrill of seeing the lights go on as kids learned to read, and she spent her free time volunteering with the Riverside library system.”

Chris is a respected estate planning attorney in Riverside. He and Molly enjoyed successful careers and raised their family here. “The community has been great to us,” he says. “We wanted to give back locally rather than donating money to a national organization.”

About 20 years ago, Chris and Molly decided to focus their philanthropy on the Riverside Public Library. In addition to direct donations to the library, they established a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) in 2016 with IECF, The Molly and Chris Carpenter Family FundThe Fund will support public libraries both locally and across the country, and benefit early childhood learning and other programs. The Carpenters specified flexibility to distribute funds to other libraries, including school libraries if that’s where the need is indicated. Chris’ youngest daughter is involved as an advisor to the testamentary fund, which will be activated upon Chris’ passing. He believes this kind of giving has the most impact because it will benefit his community for decades to come.

Chris first became aware of IECF over 40 years ago through his work as an estate planning attorney. Although he couldn’t personally donate back then, he says IECF has always been a top recommendation to clients looking for ways to leave a legacy. He favors the idea of setting up a Donor Advised Fund because it allows each person, couple, or family to direct their money to causes near and dear to their hearts.

Chris shared the story of one of his clients, Jane Baxter, whom he assisted in setting up the Agatha J. Baxter Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund, managed by IECF. Mrs. Baxter was a widow whom Chris had helped with her estate planning for quite some time. Because she had no children, she was enthusiastic about setting up a scholarship fund in her name to benefit underserved students heading to college in Riverside County. “I feel very strongly that you can earn money,” Chris says, “but there comes a time when you don’t need it, and your children don’t need all of it. Why not give where the need is? Plow it back into your local community.”

Because of the establishment of The Molly and Chris Carpenter Family Fund and the referral of his clients who established the Agatha J. Baxter Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund to IECFChris was named a Professional Advisor Champion. To be named a Professional Advisor Champion, an advisor must establish an endowment or a fund in their own name or in the name of their family,  or refer a client who then establishes a fund at IECF, as Chris did.

IECF is grateful to Chris Carpenter and those like him who share a passionate and robust vision for the future of our communities. If you would like more information on Donor Advised Funds or other estate planning options, please contact Jose Marquez, Director of Planned Giving, at 951.241.7777 ext. 113, or jmarquez@iegives.org.

Chris passed away in 2022, shortly after this story was published. As we mourn the loss of a true philanthropist and friend of the Foundation, we’re honored to keep Chris and Molly’s legacy alive through their donor advised fund.

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