Igniting Giving Through Friendships

Longtime friends inspire each other to give, and the Community Foundation gives them confidence their efforts aren't wasted.

Marty Harrison and Tecumseh “Tee” Hooper, Jr., are longtime friends with mutual admiration since their first meeting in 1984. The two have worked together as partners in a venture holding company since then – growing, operating and buying companies across a variety of industries.

“I really can’t remember who introduced me but I remember thinking that the Community Foundation isn’t for people like me,” Tee recalls. He initially thought that donors had to start by giving vast amounts of money. However, Tee soon learned that you do not need to be a millionaire to be a philanthropist. His first gift to the Foundation was in 1991 and several years later, he established his own donor-advised fund which gave him the flexibility to support nonprofit organizations whose missions aligned with his beliefs.

Marty found out about the Community Foundation from Tee and established his own donor-advised fund in 2002. Now, the two say they do almost all of their charitable giving through their funds at the Community Foundation. Marty explains, “The guidance provided by the Community Foundation makes giving a portion of a personal interest in a business to the Foundation a smooth transaction. The Community Foundation sells it and we receive tax benefits which allows us to give more to charity.”

“I have confidence that the charities I’m giving to have been vetted by the Foundation”

Tecumseh “Tee” Hooper, Jr.

As the two have varied philanthropic interests, they are able to vary support of charitable organizations that align with their families’ values and interests. “I have confidence that the charities I’m giving to have been vetted by the Foundation” adds Tee, “It’s one entry for my CPA for tax purposes regardless of how many charitable gifts I make from my fund.”

Marty underscores that there is no need to have buckets of money to give. Quoting John Wesley, a tenet he follows, – “Earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can.”

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