Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

TOP to launch 'Life & Legacy'


TAMPA—The Tampa Orlando Pinellas Jewish foundation (“TOP”) has launched a new endowment program that will empower every member of the community to have a long-term impact on Jewish institutions and organizations at home, in Israel and around the world. TOP will facilitate the “Life & Legacy” program under the guidance of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, a program that represents a shared commitment by area agencies, synagogues and day schools to work together to collectively secure endowment gifts. The grant-funded program will be offered for two years, beginning in January 2015, and is made possible with the financial support of the Grinspoon Foundation and the three Federations in each of the three communities.

“This program is a real game changer,” said Debby Gendzier, immediate past president of TOP. “It does two important things at the same time: It enables donors to fulfill their philanthropic wishes by supporting specific needs in the Jewish community, and provides critical resources for our agencies, synagogues and community to meet unforeseen challenges and build for the future.”

Through Life & Legacy, a donor has the ability to establish one legacy gift to benefit one or more organizations. The donor can make a commitment either through a current or future gift to a Jewish organization’s endowment fund at TOP or by declaring his or her intent to remember Jewish causes in a will or estate plan.

A legacy gift of any size can be customized and structured to fit a donor’s desires, lifestyle, family and financial needs. The donor can provide support for a particular institution, such as a synagogue, day school or social service agency. Alternately, the donor can designate support for an area of interest, such as caring for the elderly, educating children, or advancing Jewish life, Jewish camp experiences, college campus programs or support for Israel and overseas programs.

Nearly two-dozen synagogues, agencies and day schools joined together on Dec. 3 to learn more about the opportunity. Applications for formal participation (which includes an incentive grant to selected agencies) are due on Jan. 7 from interested agencies, at which time they will be reviewed by a lay committee and evaluated based on a set of objective and subjective criteria.

TOP invites all organizations, whether selected for the inventive grant or not, to take advantage of the program in full, which will offer two years of endowment development training, consultation, and marketing support at no cost. Twelve agencies will receive incentive grants of $6,000 per year for two years and will be expected to form a committee, commit to attending trainings, and secure at least 18 letters of intent each year of the program.

Conceived by the San Diego Jewish Community Foundation in 2004, the Life & Legacy concept has since gone national with great success. In 2006, The Jewish Federations of North America began helping communities across the country establish “Create a Jewish Legacy” programs. In 2012, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation launched a more comprehensive version of this program entitled “Life & Legacy” and each year invites a select number of communities to participate. As part of this program, a grant of $300,000 will be awarded to TOP to facilitate the program and provide the incentive grants to local agencies. TOP was one of eight communities selected for the 2014-2016 cohort.

For more information about the Life & Legacy program and TOP’s involvement, contact Emilie Socash, TOP executive director, by telephone at 813-769-4726, or by email at Emilie@topjewishfoundation.org.


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