Our Donor Stories

We are Palm Beach and Martin Counties’ community foundation.  

We are a foundation led by a board of community leaders that manages charitable funds for more than 300 like-minded, local individuals, families, businesses and nonprofits who are connected by their passion for making a difference. We are proud to be able to share some of their stories.  

It takes the Community Foundation

We recently launched a new ad campaign featuring our donors and fund holders. Each ad focuses on an individual donor and their motivation for partnering with the Community Foundation for their philanthropy. Click on the photo to see the full ad, and click on the video to hear more of their story. 

It takes the community to conserve our NATURAL RESOURCES 

Thomas Ladue McGinty



When Thomas Ladue McGinty died in 1986, he left behind his 60-year-old beach home in Ocean Ridge, $1 million, and three million shells.  Although he was well known by experts in the field as an amateur naturalist and malacologist, it was not until after his death that the extent of his knowledge of mollusks and the enormity of his collection was revealed. Tom and his brother Paul (who died just eight months before Tom) moved to Florida in the 1940s. Tom was appointed Chief of Police of Ocean Ridge in 1949, and worked his entire lifetime to collect and label shells and fossils from around Florida waters. A portion of his estate established a field of interest fund at the Community Foundation to support environmental needs, organizations or projects that conserve the natural resources in and around Palm Beach County. The fund was established with $81,000 in 1988 and has grown to over $220,000 in assets today. More importantly, Tom’s fund has awarded more than $210,000 in grants over the last 25 years – giving away over two times its original value and demonstrating the power of endowment.  


It takes the community to protect OUR CHILDREN

Jim & Valerie Stern



Through their volunteer experiences, The Sterns have seen many neglected children who were not given the opportunities that they deserve. The Palm City residents wanted to teach their own children, Michael and Brooke, about the importance of giving back, and help other kids at the same time. They established a donor advised fund at the Foundation, and now make grant recommendations to charities providing vital programs and services to local children and families.  


It takes the community to educate our FUTURE LEADERS

Dr. Dorothy Peck



Dr. Dorothy Adams Peck fell in love with helping others at a young age. When she moved to Palm Beach County in 1969, her first teaching position was at Roosevelt and Palm Beach High Schools – now the Dreyfoos School of the Arts. She later became Area School District Superintendent, and began doing missionary work in Africa after retirement. Her son shared her passion for education, travel and foreign languages. He was proficient in eight languages and was a professor of Romance Languages at U.C.L.A. When he passed away, Dorothy created a scholarship fund to honor his memory and continue his legacy of educating future generations. She also has a planned gift with the Community Foundation, and is a member of our Legacy Society.  


It takes the community to make a BIG IMPACT

Tandy Robinson



As a working mom with a new baby, Goldman Sachs executive Tandy Robinson learned about Impact 100 in 2008 through a friend in Vero Beach. The concept is simple: local women are invited to join for $1,000, the monies are pooled, and then members vote at one annual meeting to make a $100,000 grant to the local nonprofit they feel will make the greatest impact on the community. This philanthropic model was being replicated around the country, and the idea really resonated with the Delray Beach resident. In 2011, Tandy co-founded Impact 100 Palm Beach County, which is operated as a donor advised fund at the Community Foundation. She decided to partner with the Foundation on this initiative because of our 40-year track record of community leadership and grant making. The group has become so successful that Tandy is being honored as Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser on National Philanthropy Day 2014.   

Want more stories? 
Here are some of the donor’s who have left a legacy  in our community.

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur: Partners in Philanthropy 

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties have been partners in philanthropy since 1985, when they issued a $250,000 challenge grant to the Community Foundation. The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. Read More...

Anna Marie Peterson Fund: Supporting the Marshall Foundation

Anna Marie Peterson established a charitable gift annuity at the Community Foundation in 2004. Upon her death, the gift annuity created the Anna Marie Peterson Fund, an endowed fund that will support the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation's work in Everglades restoration, public outreach and education. Read More... 

Mary and Robert Pew Public Education Fund

More than $16 million in grants have been awarded from the Mary and Robert Pew Public Education Fund, a supporting organization of the Community Foundation, since its inception, impacting thousands of students, teachers and administrators. “We chose to establish this fund with the Community Foundation because the structure of a supporting organization best achieves our philanthropic goals,” says Robert Pew. Read More... 

Irene Gibson Clay Memorial Scholarship Fund

Irene Gibson Clay believed in the power of education as a path to a better life — and a stronger community in Belle Glade and South Bay. “In her own quiet way, she convinced people they had a role to play in making life better for the next generation,”said her daughter Sanjena Clay. “Our main goal in establishing the fund was to give a young person, who may not be able to afford their education, an opportunity to become an educator and make a difference in their community, as my mom did in this community.” Read More... 

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fund

The Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of Palm Beach County and 25 other U.S. communities. The Knight Foundation established an endowed Donor Advised Fund at the Community Foundation in 1994, which generates income that is used for grants in Palm Beach County and enables us to respond quickly and flexibly to community needs. Projects that are supported address their grant making priorities of “Informed and Engaged Communities”  Read More...