431 East Fayette Street Suite 100 Syracuse, NY 13202 Tel: 315.422.9538

The Renzis

As I look back on my childhood in the Bronx, I was impressed with my parents’ acts of giving. It was the moments I spent with them that influenced my charitable engagement throughout my life. My late wife Agnes was also a very active partner in my giving journey.

We would often visit the organizations we supported locally and made our giving decisions together. It’s always been important for us to offer our support in more ways than one. That is why we decided that we want our giving to continue into perpetuity after we are gone.

Agnes was a certified braille transcriber who worked primarily on elementary school literature books. She donated thousands of hours over a twenty-year period improving the quality of the lives of hundreds of blind children. It is fair to say that often times giving of time can be just as significant as dollars.

In 1969, I began a career with Pall Corporation in Glen Cove, NY as a project manager and oversaw the production of filtration systems that were used to protect jet engines on helicopters. In 1971, I was promoted to Chief Engineer at the Cortland New York facility. In the ensuing years I became the president of the Cortland plant along with responsibilities for two plants in Puerto Rico. At the time of my retirement in 1994, I was serving as senior vice president of Pall Corporation. Agnes’ support of my professional career enabled me to be as successful as I was.

With guidance from staff at the Community Foundation, I used the stock I accumulated to set-up a donor-advised fund that will transition to a permanent designated fund when I pass away supporting the charities and causes I care about. I found that the Community Foundation had all of the infrastructure and experience necessary to support my giving now and carry it on for generations while honoring our legacies.

The Nicholas and Agnes Renzi Charitable Fund allows me to easily facilitate my yearly and future giving to the causes that are important to both Agnes and me. When we moved to Cortland, we fell in love with the community. The fund supports many charitable causes primarily in Central New York with a focus in Cortland County to ensure their success for the years to come.

One of the noteworthy activities that I have used the fund for is to support the Community Foundation’s Cortland County Bright Ideas program, which invites nonprofit organizations to present their best and brightest idea to better serve their community. The annual awardees receive $5,000 each to bring their idea to life. This has been a great opportunity to support local organizations while learning more about them in the process.

Setting up my fund at the Community Foundation was a seamless experience. This entire journey has been personally rewarding and, more importantly, many well deserving nonprofit organizations have been helped. I feel secure that our legacies and wishes for future contributions will be stewarded through our fund for generations.

If you're interested in opening a fund, learn more here.