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Special Interest Funds

Establish a permanent endowment fund to support your favorite causes or organizations for generations to come.

Jewish Foundation of Memphis plays a critical role in securing endowment funds for organizations and programs that provide critical and important services to the Memphis Jewish community. Some of these funds are used to seed Special Interest Funds established at the Jewish Foundation of Memphis and benefits from financial and program oversight by the Foundation’s board of directors and investment committee.

What is a Special Interest Fund?

A Special Interest Fund is a charitable vehicle where the total amount of the gift is invested and carefully managed to provide growth over time. Each year, a portion of the fund is distributed, usually without touching the principal. This fund is designed to last in perpetuity. These funds can be created to honor the memory of a loved one (e.g. Marty Olswanger Fund) while others can provide long-term support to very specific agencies or programs (e.g. B’nai Tzedek, David Bornblum Scholarship Fund).  The number of Jewish Foundation designated funds continues to grow and each has its own special purpose, spending policy and vision.

Example: In 2019, five years after the “new” Jewish Family Service was launched as a department of the Memphis Jewish Community Center, generous local donors Avron and Wendy Fogelman stepped forward to help launch a $7.5 million endowment campaign that would benefit the critical services offered by Jewish Family Services into the future. Renamed the Wendy and Avron B. Fogelman Jewish Family Service, this important agency has provided life-sustaining services to the Memphis Jewish community for more than 150 years.  The Jewish Foundation of Memphis has been the proud leader of this fundraising effort, raising more than its $7.5 million goal.


How Do I Establish a Special Interest Fund?

Simply contact us to schedule a complimentary, confidential conversation. It will be our pleasure to discuss with you how to set up an endowment fund, or “forever fund,” that will carry on your name or the name of a loved one.

Traditional IRAs are great assets to use to establish a Special Interest Fund. If you do not need all or part of your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD), you may wish to contribute it directly to an Endowment Fund via a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). This non-taxable withdrawal from your retirement account, paid directly from the IRA to JFoM, will create a meaningful legacy.

These Funds are also commonly set up to be funded as part of a Legacy Plan, following one’s lifetime and funded from the estate. Honor your lifetime of giving by continuing your support for generations to come.

“The work we do every day through the Jewish Foundation of Memphis has changed the culture of giving in our Jewish community. Endowment is now part of the philanthropic offerings of all of our organizations – which is critical to the long-term security of our Jewish community. I am proud to have been a part of such a critical organization.”

Ken SteinbergFoundation Board Chair 2016-2017