Agency Fund Spotlight: Jacob's Heart

Aug 23, 2018

Over 40 nonprofits in our community trust the Community Foundation to steward funds for current and future use. While some of these funds are long-term, revenue-producing endowments, the Community Foundation also offers nonprofits a way to invest surplus money without committing those funds to a permanent endowment in non-endowed agency flex funds.

Flexible by Design

For Jacob’s Heart, an agency flex fund at the Community Foundation was the right solution. The children’s cancer support service group saw a way to save non-endowed dollars in a professionally managed long-term fund that will generate investment income over time. The big upside was that the principal and the earnings would remain fully accessible with a vote of the nonprofit's board. We welcomed the Jacob’s Heart Stewardship Fund for Santa Cruz County to the Community Foundation in 2015.

“It’s reassuring to have the money in a flex fund. It gives our board the confidence that if we need to make a strategic investment of capital in our operation, the money is there.”

- Lori Butterworth, Founder, and Executive Director.

“As the incidence of childhood cancer continues to rise, the Jacob’s Heart board has committed to ensuring that we will be able to meet this growing need in the future. The flex fund is our investment in improving the quality of life for children and families who will, unfortunately, need our support in the coming years.”

The flex fund frees Lori and Jacob’s Heart from the responsibility of actively managing investments and investment managers. That means more time for doing what they’re the best in the world at – offering extraordinary service to children with cancer and their families on the Central Coast.

Lymphoma survivor Mariela Medina with Jacob's Heart Founder and Executive Director Lori Butterworth

Expert Help with Complex Gifts

An added benefit to being an agency fund holder is that our experienced staff can assist with complex gifts that a donor may offer. In 2016, when Lori learned that a generous donor hoped to make a gift to Jacob’s Heart from the sale of a property in another part of the state, she called us.

“The donor wanted to give a portion of an undeveloped parcel in Riverside County that she was about to inherit. We were able to help Lori and her board through the due-diligence process that is so essential in considering the acceptance of any real estate gift,” said Foundation Philanthropic Services Director Sam Leask.

“After examining the findings of the an environmental report, a title report and market estimate of the property’s value, Lori’s board felt comfortable in accepting the proposed gift. They later offered the donated property for sale and the resulting six-figure proceeds provided a very welcome financial boost to the organization,” said Sam.

Lori recounted how easy it was working with our team. “We were not prepared to handle this transaction by ourselves. We needed an expert that knew the options, how to meet the donor’s intent, and how to maximize benefits for Jacob’s Heart. Sam made the whole thing easy,” said Lori.

Lori Butterworth being interviewed by intrepid journalist and brain tumor survivor Ben.

Mission Focused at (Jacob's) Heart

While they can watch their fund’s earnings grow, Lori and her team can return to the currency they prefer to deal in: smiles for brave kids, high-fives for superhero siblings and loving support for weary parents. Most importantly, the flex fund helps ensure that until there’s a cure, Jacob’s Heart will be here.

Learn more about how an Agency Fund may benefit your nonprofit

Contact Sam Leask

Written by

Kevin Heuer

To learn more about how an agency fund may benefit your nonprofit, please contact Kevin Heuer, Director of Engagement & Impact at 831.662.2030 or