Creating a Legacy

Tom and Kathy McDonald

Tom and Kathy MacDonald

Many generous individuals and families choose the Community Foundation for Monterey County as their partner in philanthropy. Providing philanthropic resources through their estates allows the CFMC to truly be “here for good” – here forever, for the good of the community. It’s a testament to these visionary donors that last year the CFMC reached a milestone of more than $110 million granted to local nonprofits working towards healthy, safe, vibrant communities. The CFMC stewards these donors’ philanthropic legacy as well as more than $180 million in total assets. Those who have informed us that the CFMC is in their estate plans are eligible for membership in the CFMC’s Legacy Society.

Each Legacy Society member has a story, and such is the case with Tom and Kathy MacDonald. Originally from Rhode Island and married over 50 years, the MacDonalds spent most of their lives in Hawaii. Tom describes their lives as very lucky. Tom and Kathy, both college English professors at the time, moved to Hawaii from Rochester, New York as a result of entering a travel contest on a jar of Miracle Whip. During their (winter) trip there, they interviewed for jobs and subsequently relocated. Kathy continued teaching, while Tom ultimately became President and CEO of the Hawaiian Trust Company.

Anyone who’s been fortunate enough in their life to accumulate enough assets to make provision for the causes that are important to them should be thinking about the Community Foundation. It’s only right to give back if you can. Besides the giving aspect; it means you’re leaving something behind that reflects you. – Tom MacDonald

Tom served on the board and investment committee of the Hawaii Community Foundation for more than ten years. After retirement, they eventually relocated to Monterey County. The MacDonalds included the CFMC in their estate plans because, “We know community foundations are reliable. They’re going to be here after you’ve gone and will respect your wishes and see that they’re properly implemented. (Working with the CFMC) gives you an opportunity to designate several recipients at once. And, suppose an agency goes out of business? The foundation has the ability to redeploy those resources to benefit that same type of work.”

Their estate plans currently include giving to CASA in both Santa Cruz and Monterey counties (now Voices for Children in Monterey County). They will also establish scholarships for children who, like themselves, would be the first in their families to attend college. And, support will be given to lower income families who have basic medical and dental needs.

The MacDonalds also give their time. Tom was active with several community organizations in Hawaii and currently serves on the board of Legal Services for Seniors. They received the 2001 “Volunteers of the Year” award in Santa Cruz County for Kathy’s work at CASA and Tom’s with Above the Line, a home for homeless teens. Kathy works with the Carmel Valley Women’s Club scholarship award committee.