Donor Story

Use Area Experts to Support Our Area

Chuck Plimpton

Chuck Plimpton wanted to stay involved with his philanthropy. At first, he considered starting a donor-advised fund at a national, commercial investment firm. Then he realized that firm couldn’t help him learn about local causes to support.

Plimpton found that important local expertise close to home by connecting with the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, which specializes in southeastern Virginia philanthropy.

In 2001, the former Hertz car rental franchise owner made a charitable donation to start a donor-advised fund he could test drive.

Plimpton said in an interview that connecting with his community foundation followed the same philosophy he adhered to in his business: “If you earn a living in a community, you should give back to your community and also do your business there.”

Plimpton credited Foundation staff with introducing him to key community needs and issues he may not have considered regarding his philanthropy. He especially appreciated how staff members researched his ideas and helped him put them into action through grants to dozens of organizations. He also appreciated having the option to remain anonymous and still make grants.

Plimpton died in 2015. His widow, Starr, continues to advise and recommend grants to help nonprofits. Ultimately, this fund will support the community foundation’s competitive grantmaking program and the Plimptons’ legacy of generosity will live on in perpetuity.

Leigh Evans Davis, vice president for donor engagement, said she was honored to have worked with him “to help make his giving fun. Working with Chuck was a wonderful experience because he brought such heart and passion to his giving.”

You have many options for starting a donor-advised fund at the Foundation:

Endowed Fund – During your lifetime, you make grant recommendations to the causes and nonprofits you care to support. Your successor advisors get the opportunity to make recommendations, too. (Initial charitable gift: $25,000 or more.)

Current-use Fund – You make one gift to the community foundation and then make grant recommendations to a variety of causes and nonprofits until you spend out the balance of your donor-advised fund. (Initial gift: $50,000 or more.)

Quasi-endowed Fund – You recommend grants to nonprofits in any amount as long as your fund keeps a minimum balance of $50,000. Your successor advisors have the same opportunity. After the advising period ends, your fund will become a permanent fund with the purpose you specified. (Initial gift: $50,000 or more.)

Customized Fund – We can create a customized donor-advised fund for you, with an initial gift of $2 million or more.

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