Honoring Home

June 22, 2016

You don’t have to be a tycoon to make a difference. You just have to care.

How do you honor a place you call home? A place where you grew up, made friends, met your spouse and built your career?

For Margaret and Leland Rich, the answer is simple: give what you can to help build a lasting community endowment. This couple, who has deep roots in Fairbanks, gives annually to the Golden Heart Community Foundation (GHCF) in central Alaska and is leaving a gift for GHCF in their will. Margaret also serves on the GHCF Advisory Board.

I was born, raised, and choose to live in Fairbanks. This state has been good to me. My heart is in this town.

It now breaks my heart to think of homeless kids, kids who don’t have enough to eat, adults who don’t have enough to eat, people with disabilities, mental challenges or medical needs, people and animals who are neglected or abused, seniors who need help, people who need assistance when they are dying, and on and on. I see needs in our community to maintain and improve our quality of life…arts, recreation, environmental concerns and more.

A believer in the power of endowments and the importance of a healthy nonprofit sector for thriving communities, Margaret has chosen to give back to the community she loves so much through her service now and her legacy later.

I want to give back to the community that means so much to me. I am not rich. What my mother told me years ago, still applies to me now – “Some have more money than I have, and I have more money than others.

With that in mind, Margaret has chosen to leave gifts for several nonprofits to set up or add to their endowment funds at ACF. The majority of her gift, however, will go to The Golden Heart Community Foundation’s unrestricted fund, because, as she says, “it has flexibility.”

I believe in an unrestricted foundation for the Interior of Alaska. The contributions will keep working year after year, and the earnings can be granted out annually and adapted as the future needs change.

While Margaret clearly believes in the importance of unrestricted funds, she also has a deep commitment to the value of endowments.

There is even more satisfaction donating to endowment funds, where the original contribution is treated like a permanent savings account and only the earnings are spent. When a non-profit has an endowment, I feel they believe in their future, and it gives me another reason to believe in it.

Margaret’s commitment to her community is epitomized in her support of The Golden Heart Community Foundation. An Affiliate of The Alaska Community Foundation, Golden Heart CF is one of nine “satellite” community foundations.

Under ACF’s umbrella, these groups are carrying out homegrown philanthropy in their own communities. They embody the spirit of community foundations, ensuring that philanthropy grows from the ground up and is led by locals committed to their communities and future generations.

The Golden Heart Community Foundation serves the Fairbanks, North Pole, and the surrounding regions. Their moniker, the “Golden Heart”, describes both their central location and the community’s generosity of spirit. Formed in 2013 as part of the second cycle of ACF Affiliates, The Golden Heart Community Foundation “continues the pioneering spirit of those who were here before us and ensure the greater Fairbanks area communities continue to thrive long into the future.”

Fortunately, there are many others who feel just as Margaret does about her community:

I feel fortunate to live in Fairbanks with many good people. In appreciation, I want to leave something lasting that will benefit the community for many years. The Golden Heart Community Foundation provides the vehicle for me to do so.