My husband started our family foundation in 1987 with an initial gift of $250,000, following some success in the investment business. He saw a foundation as enabling him to plan for his charitable giving during the remainder of his life and to do this giving in a more thoughtful manner. A major factor in his decision was that the foundation would serve as a wonderful example to his children, who were seven and five years old at the time. It would be a legacy, that they would hopefully come together to run as adults and that would provide them with a common goal.
Though it still remains small, our family foundation has grown considerably since its inception, as my husband has continued to add to his initial investment. We currently give away grants totaling something under $200,000 a year, with grants generally falling within the $10,000 to $20,000 range. My husband and I are the primary trustees and I am responsible for the management of the foundation. Though we make grants in a number of different areas, special interests include education and children welfare policy.
Whenever possible, efforts are made to leverage limited resources. A current example of this involves a school, where a $4,000 grant to underwrite the costs of a concert enabled the school to raise the $20,000 it needed to complete its capital campaign. What made the concert particularly special was the fact that three world class musicians, all of whom had ties to the school, donated their talents for the evening. In this situation, it was the synergy between our grant and the musicians’ donation of their time and talent that made for such a wonderful and financially successful occasion.
The Hite Foundation, Summit, New Jersey
Year established: 1987