Francine Bowman - Creating a Continuing Legacy

Photo courtesy of Hope for Horses

If you visit or volunteer for the equine rescue, Hope for Horses, in Leicester, you may notice plaques on two shelters that acknowledge support from the Francine Bowman Endowment Fund. CFWNC recently awarded a $14,400 discretionary grant from the Fund to enable the rescue to purchase two run-in shelters for their horses.

“This grant made it possible for us to continue the work of rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming horses in need,” said Sandy Bagarella, Farm Manager. “Since adding the two run-in shelters, we have made space for five more horses. They had a safe place to land because the grant made the space possible.”

Over the years, Bowman’s Fund has supported crucial forest planning work, programs for women, cultural heritage preservation, and numerous animal shelters and rescues. Recent grants include Carolina Climbers Association (front cover), Foothills Conservancy, Local Cloth and the Center for Craft.

So just who was Francine Bowman and how is it that more than twenty years after her death, her legacy to her community continues to make meaningful improvements? She was a generous philanthropist, an environmentalist, a lover of the arts, and a planner.

Bowman worked for the U.S. Foreign Service in eleven different countries. She chose to retire to Asheville, drawn by the scenic beauty and the colleges and universities that could support life-long learning. A five-time cancer survivor, she made detailed arrangements to ensure that her life savings would support the causes close to her heart.

When Bowman developed her charitable plan in 1995, she chose a charitable gift annuity to care for her sister and a field of interest fund to support interests developed over a lifetime. She designed her fund to spend down over 25 years. Her fund balance was $673,000 when she created it. Grants totaling $727,000 have been distributed, and today the balance is over $273,000, illustrating the power of endowments and the promise of further impact.

For two decades, CFWNC has carried out Bowman’s instructions by making grants to the causes and nonprofits she indicated in her documents. Francine Bowman’s planning and partnership resulted in a legacy that continues to make a difference. Adhering to donor intent is a cornerstone principle of CFWNC’s mission and model.