Endowment for Alaska Pets: Marilyn Rudolph is turning her love of pets into a legacy to support Alaska’s animals

Marilyn Rudolph came to her love of pets later in life than most people.

Marilyn with one of her cats

Photo Credit: Ricardo Lopez

When she moved from Alaska to a dairy farm in Minnesota in her mid-40s, she discovered a passion for animals that she had never known before. When Marilyn returned home to Alaska, she brought three of her barn cats with her. Those cats, one of whom has passed, and the two strays that have since adopted her, have opened an entirely new world and outlook for Marilyn – a passion for the well-being of Alaskan animals.

This affection for animals was an important factor as Marilyn began working on her will recently. It was at this juncture that she was introduced to the Alaska Community Foundation and learned of the diversity of giving options here.

I love animals but didn’t want to give a lump sum to one organization.  There are so many great organizations that are in need, but I was concerned that the funds might not be used wisely or be depleted too soon. I did a lot of research on ACF and was impressed with its grant making and investment process.  I like the fact that ACF will have a competitive process for grants and that it will ensure that pet organizations and their projects are well vetted so the funds will be used effectively.

Having had a financial career, Marilyn liked the idea of creating an endowment that would last forever. Earnings from the endowment will generate revenue annually to grant to organizations that place rescue pets in loving homes, promote responsible pet ownership, and provide medical care for rescue animals and pets of low-income owners. Eventually, as the fund grows, her hope is that it will provide enough revenue that nonprofit organizations can apply for grants to build or purchase their own shelters, pet ownership education wings, or a center to house several pet organizations that work in collaboration.

After working with ACF’s staff, Marilyn created The Endowment for Alaska Pets and funded it with a generous gift to get it started.. It will later be grown with the assets from Marilyn’s estate. ACF is excited to add this new fund to its portfolio and invites other Alaskans who share Marilyn’s passion to pets to contribute to this fund through donations or gifts through their wills.