Fred Powers is a man of faith and family. His creation of the Powers Gibson Seib Carpenter Joint Family Fund is evidence of that very truth. This donor-advised fund, founded in 2011, is a tool Fred and his wife Becky are using to put their strong faith and love of family into action for community good. It’s no mistake that the fund, fondly called the PGSCJ, represents not only the first initial of each family unit, but the core of the family’s belief system: Praise God’s Son Christ Jesus. “We feel blessed that we grew up in Hancock County. We feel giving back to the community is our way of saying thank you for allowing us to live here,” says the family.
One of the ways Fred gives back to the community was by serving on the HCCF Board of Directors. As part of his board orientation, Fred learned about Acorn Funds. An acorn fund has ten years to reach a minimum endowment level, rather than the standard five. “I thought to myself, now that’s something we can do!”
Fred and Becky established a donor advised fund, one that invites donors to make recommendations to HCCF for grants. “Our children are giving people and we wanted to see them be part of a fund, at this stage of their lives, when they can involve their young children. We hope to plant seeds that will take root in our grandchildren so that they may pass it on to their kids. We want this to be a multi-generational process.” Fred’s vision is that, as the grandchildren mature, they will take an active role in contributing to the fund and recommending grants.
HCCF’s greeting card program is a tool that’s helping engage the Powers’ children and grandchildren in the philanthropic fund. On birthdays, Fred and Becky make gifts to the PGSCJ to acknowledge how important each of their individual family members are to them. HCCF creates and mails a personalized card in response. The grandchildren look forward to getting a card in the mail. “I almost always get a phone call saying, ‘Thank you, Papaw, for making a donation to the Community Foundation in my name!’ It’s an awesome feeling to know they are beginning to understand why we created the fund.” On Father’s Day this year, his feeling was confirmed. This time, he got a card in the mail. A gift was made by his grandchildren in his honor. “Everybody wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves,” says Fred, “and this fund gives us all that opportunity.”