Jack Fitzsimmons and Walter Gendell have long championed causes and organizations they believe in but felt their efforts were a bit scattershot. When the Sonoma County couple retired from corporate careers and moved to Palm Springs, they decided a more disciplined approach was in order.

Jack and Walter learned about a prospective donor event being held in the Coachella Valley at which IECF would be a participant. They attended with the goal of talking with IECF representatives about their charitable giving, particularly their estate plans. The pair had determined that IECF’s mission and purpose were in alignment with their areas of interest, including the arts, environmental issues and a special commitment to organizations that serve the gay community.

After meeting with IECF staff for several months and working with their estate planning attorney, the Palm Springs couple decided to provide a testamentary gift to IECF through their estate plan and to establish a donor advised fund at the foundation to support the many causes they care about.

“The fact that the foundation is grounded in the Inland Empire is very important to us,” Walter says. “The level of commitment shown by its board of directors is really impressive,” Jack adds.

They expect their pattern of giving to naturally evolve as their understanding of the foundation’s mission deepens and their IECF-facilitated connections continue to grow.

“We’re embarking on a new journey,” Walter says, “and we’ve chosen IECF to help us think through the strategy. They’re the right organization with the right people to move us in the direction we’re interested in going.”

Learn more about how we can make your philanthropic goals a reality – contact our Charitable Giving Department today!

A version of this story originally appeared in our 2022/2023 Annual Report.

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