2018 Year in Review: Donor Stories

Thanks to our donors, CFSA is the largest grantmaker in Southern Arizona. With a primary focus on Pima and Santa Cruz counties, we cover a seven-county region that also includes secondary markets like Cochise, Yuma, Graham, Greenlee and Maricopa counties.

Since 1980, CFSA has given over $180 million to the communities it serves. Today, we have more than $156 million in assets and over 500 funds. CFSA’s vision to improve the quality of life in Southern Arizona, would not be possible without the generosity of our donors.

Howard Moore was a longtime donor to CFSA, whose legacy is now carried on by his family, including daughter Lynda. Howard’s son Ronnie describes his father as a hard-working man whose parents put down roots in Yuma when their car broke down fleeing the Dust Bowl. He describes the Foundation’s work as a way to grow Howard’s impact: “It’s like a big tree, and the more we hang grafts in the limbs, the more it will grow.”

Murryelle Bothwell lived for 30+ years in Sierra Vista, where she first established a Donor Advised Fund in 2010 through the Arizona Community Foundation of Cochise. After she moved to Tucson, she transferred her fund to CFSA in 2015. As an African American woman, a mother whose children were educated in Southern Arizona and a retired nurse practitioner, Murryelle’s charitable giving is focused on education and health programs that aid and support the Black community. Murryelle shared, “I have a small fund, and the Donor Portal has made it very easy. It’s also helpful for me that the Foundation does the research on organizations and vets them.”

Dick and Connie Luebke established a Donor Advised Fund at the Foundation last year, having first come to know of CFSA through Social Venture Partners. In addition to creating college scholarships for high school seniors, their giving centers on helping women and youth more broadly, including through programs that support their emotional and psychological needs. A local favorite is Tu Nidito, which helps families impacted by illness or death, with a vision that no child grieves alone. The Luebkes shared, “There is an inexplicable joy and satisfaction in giving and knowing that you had an impact – that you helped someone.”

Phil and Carol Lyons connected with the Community Foundation in the wake of the Tucson shootings of 2011. Wanting to create something positive from that tragedy, they established a University of Arizona scholarship, finding that CFSA could structure it to their specifications in ways other organizations could not. More recently, they created a Donor Advised Fund and have been “thrilled and gratified” by CFSA’s depth of work in coordinating their grant process as well as organizing proposals and providing insights on potential grantees.

Kathy Alexander and Paul Lindsey established their Donor Advised Fund more than a decade ago. They plan their annual giving at the start of each year and appreciate how CFSA’s online Donor Portal makes it easy for them to carry out that plan and track their giving throughout the year. They’ve long been avid supporters of the local nonprofit Handi-Dogs, which helps older adults and people with disabilities gain independence through a range of dog-training services. “The Community Foundation has set things up in a way that makes it so easy. And it seems to get better and better. It has been a completely positive experience,” they shared.

Hanna Miller and Luke Jakobsen were both raised in multicultural environments, where they learned the importance of inclusion in all aspects of life. Luke’s experience as a transgender man further cemented the couple’s dedication to supporting organizations that demonstrate inclusion by listening to and ensuring access for people with lived experiences of injustice. Last year they established a Donor Advised Fund with CFSA as a way to help invest in organizations that help society move forward by decolonizing wealth and philanthropy. They shared, “If you really want to maximize your impact on the issues that matter to you, the Community Foundation gives you resources to do that and helps you be a more informed donor.”