Foundation Blog

Speech by John Beckham, CFA fundholder, given at the 2019 Annual Luncheon:

I’ve been asked to say why we partner with CFA, and there are many reasons, but the first is the amazing selfless example set by those who have come before. In 1985, with $750k in seed money from Judy Matthews and Dodge Jones [Foundation], a group of civic leaders came together and formed the Community Foundation. These first board members, and all those that have followed, have set an example of caring for our community, and for giving and investing in its future. And look at the results – Now 34 years later and under the leadership of Katie, over $111 million has been given out in grants and the Community Foundation funds stand at over $138 million.

Beckham family at the 2019 Annual Luncheon

And on a more personal note, my Mom, Peggy Beckham, is going to hate me, but she is here today. She was an early board member and chair of the Community Foundation, and has stayed involved ever since. So, for the example you have set, Mom, and the great folks who have come before, board members, donors and volunteers, I want to say thank you!

Four other reasons we partner with CFA —

  1. The Stewardship and Integrity of Katie and her Staff and Board to honor donor intentions. This is a key principle that has always guided the foundation. Ask any donor, and you will hear of a relationship of trust and honor.
  2. Flexibility—there are dozens of ways to set up a fund and it can be catered to your objectives and goals. Who you want to benefit, a particular charity or a field of interest, or donor advised, where you recommend where the funds go and how much. Endowed, where the earnings are given away, or not endowed where you can give it all away. Funds to honor someone dear, or target a cause. Whatever your charitable goals, CF has the flexibility to see that they are realized
  3. Maximizing the Impact of the Gift—Tax planning-from timing issues to gifting of appreciate stock or assets, so that taxes are reduced and there is more to give away. As shown in the financials, for its history the CFA has exhibited a solid return on the funds it has received. It is not just a community savings account, but an investment account that grows and multiplies the original gift-maximizing the impact in our community.
  4. Favorite reason for partnering with CFA — we have all seen the incredible blessing of great benefactors like Judy Matthews, Dian Stai and her foundation, the Shelton family, Greathouse family, and others — they have made a lasting impact on Abilene, not just another west Texas town, but a unique, living, thriving community. And I think this may have been a part of Judy Matthews' vision when she granted the seed money to the Community Foundation, for CFA gives each and every one of us the ability to have an impact, to make a difference and sow into Abilene’s future. We are all very thankful for the Community Foundation and the opportunity to partner with you.

In the video below, John and his wife, Carolyn, talk about recommending grants from their fund to support a cause they're passionate about.