An Anniversary Gift to Remember
Why One Family Chose to Open A Donor-Advised Fund at WFCO
As a first-time guest at WFCO’s Annual Luncheon in 2018, something clicked for Kenneth Ho. Inspired by special guest Billie Jean King and other speakers, he wanted to increase his support of The Foundation’s work. After learning about WFCO’s giving vehicles, Kenneth knew the right move for his family was to open a donor-advised fund.
In the weeks leading up to the luncheon, the national dialogue around #metoo simmered as Christine Blasey Ford testified in front of the U.S. Senate. It prompted Kenneth and his wife, Tania Zeigler, to frequently discuss their hopes for women and supporting gender equality. Coincidentally, they also had been doing a lot of financial planning.
Everything came together for Kenneth at the luncheon. First, he learned that if he were to open a donor-advised fund at $2,500 or more before the end of 2018, The Foundation would match his gift with $2,500 (and he also would receive a charitable tax deduction).
Next, it also would give Kenneth and Tania a more strategic way to accomplish their philanthropic goals. WFCO offers resources and educational programs to fundholders to improve the impact of their giving. DAFs also simplify the giving process. “It was appealing that I would be able to eliminate the need to track receipts or make timing decisions related to giving,” said Kenneth.
Lastly, it would be the perfect anniversary gift for Tania.
An anniversary gift to remember
To celebrate his 15th wedding anniversary with Tania, Kenneth wanted to give her something unexpected. Crystal would not suffice; he was looking for an experience. He decided to open a donor-advised fund for Tania, who sat on many community boards and gave to numerous causes every year. Philanthropy was important to their family, and he wanted to help her define her giving legacy and their family’s.
“There are few times in life you can give a gift that improves your community, improves yourself, and improves the livelihood of women and girls,” said Kenneth.
Tania, originally bemused at the romantic gesture, now truly appreciates the gift. “I wanted to be more authentic with my time and treasure,” she said. “I didn’t want to react emotionally at every event. Now that we’re in our 40s, our ambitions have broadened beyond our careers. The impact we want to achieve is greater.”
Open a donor-advised fund, grant to any 501(c)(3)
Fundholders at WFCO can grant to any eligible 501(c)(3) organization in the U.S. Through their DAFs, donors invest in causes that advance women and girls, arts, environmentalism, and more. One of Tania’s most significant 2019 charitable distributions supported the education and community engagement efforts of the Colorado Ballet Academy. Her 9-year-old son dances there.
Tania never thought she’d be a fan of ballet after her own experience as a kid made her feel that she didn’t fit the mold of a ballet dancer. But after witnessing her son’s enthusiasm, she now takes beginner classes and loves being part of the Colorado Ballet Academy community.
“Colorado Ballet has expanded its outreach programs across the Metro Area to increase the diversity of its dancers and audience,” said Tania. “They actively try to recruit more boys and have classes for students with Down syndrome. They are a community that is authentically trying to embrace all kinds of people.”
Through her donor-advised fund, she also regularly gives to Colorado Public Radio and Bluff Lake Nature Center, where her 12-year-old son is a junior camp counselor and both sons have attended as campers for several years. And, she joined WFCO’s Community Chest giving circle, founded by nine breast cancer survivors to build a more empowered Denver community.
Let your passion burn brightly within you
After much contemplation, Tania named her donor-advised fund the Burn Bright Fund. “Whatever you are going to do, do it wholeheartedly and authentically,” she explained. “If you let your passion burn brightly within you, your passion will give light and warmth to you and all those around you.”
It’s because of this passion for philanthropy that Kenneth and Tania enjoy attending WFCO’s quarterly fundholder gatherings, where WFCO introduces them to nonprofits throughout Colorado, and they can learn more about their investment options. They hope to involve their sons soon, and plan to pass down their donor-advised fund to them one day.
“We want to set a good example for our children and set a lasting legacy,” said Tania.