I’ve opened a fund. What do I call it?

“I am a big believer in the idea of abundance - the opposite of the mindset where people hold on to money as tightly as possible,” he said. “I believe that if you share the advantages you have with others, you not only spread light but feel the light grow in your own heart, and experience a feeling of abundance and richness that I find to be a proactive way to fight the ugliness and darkness that can hold sway in the world. More than anything that is the lesson I want my son and daughter to learn, by being aware of and involved with our fund, and with the great work that CFWNC is doing.” Photo courtesy of the Snider Whatley Family.

The reasons that people open funds at CFWNC are varied and personal, but generosity and a desire to give back is almost always the bedrock of the decision.

Opening a fund is easy. The naming of a fund can be challenging; it feels permanent, even though you can change it. Sometimes the initiating event – the death of a loved one, an inheritance, a passion to support a specific cause – leads to a name that feels right and appropriate. Often times, you get to the naming point in the process and realize that maybe you should have thought about it ahead of time.

James Dunn opened the Grandpa Dunn Feeder Fund to pass on the value of giving back to his eight grandchildren. “One of the things I learned as a boy was ‘Earn as much as you can! Save as much as you can! Give as much as you can!’ That’s a value that rings true for me,” said Dunn. “I’ve had fun doing all three, but the most soul satisfaction comes from the third admonition.”

Dunn set up eight small donor advised funds that are fed by a designated fund - the Grandpa Dunn Feeder Fund. The idea is that the Feeder Fund will provide annual grants to each of the advised funds in perpetuity. “I plan to give them a problem to deal with - a good one,” said Dunn.

Charles Snider and Nancy Whatley decided to include their kids, as much as possible, in the opening of their fund to emphasize the importance of giving back. “One of the ways we did that was to ask them to choose the name,” explained Charles. “They were fans of Harry Potter at the time, and they came up with the name Lumos, which is the incantation that young wizards use to conjure light. The idea that our charitable fund name, basically meant ‘let there be light,’ appealed to all of us.”

“When our kids were young, I volunteered often in the public schools and saw right away that there is not an even playing field,” continued Charles. “We decided to establish the fund to help kids who didn't have the same advantages that ours did. To that end, we have made grants to excellent childhood wellness, education and remediation organizations, such as Girls on the Run of Western North Carolina and My Daddy Taught Me That.

One donor has created an expectancy fund to support animal welfare that is named after her favorite pet. Another, whose fund will receive the proceeds from the sale of a beloved family home, incorporated the address. With names like the Julia Pays it Forward Fund, the Blue Door Fund or the Rainbow Bridge Fund, the stories behind the fund names are as varied as the donor; what is universal is the focus on giving back and helping others.