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Dottie Fowler


After I retired from twenty years of teaching and sold the business that I ran for ten years, I was blessed with the opportunity to focus my energy on many things I enjoy – traveling, spending time with my family, reading and gardening, to name a few. Especially important to me was having the opportunity to donate my time and resources to the benefit of my local community, especially the arts.
As capital campaign co-chair for the new Cortland Repertory Theater Downtown and supporter of many other causes, some would probably call me philanthropic. But to me, “philanthropy” is just a fancy word for feeling happy about helping others. I wish the term sounded less stuffy and better described how much fun charitable giving can be.
I established a donor-advised fund at the Community Foundation to simplify my giving and set aside my charitable dollars when it makes good financial sense. At the end of the year, I put money into the fund based on how my investments have done. I benefit from a charitable deduction and avoid capital gains tax on appreciated investments. Then I can spontaneously support requests that are most meaningful to me.
I’m not a ‘paperwork person’, so I appreciate that the Community Foundation makes it so easy to make a grant from my fund without a lot of hassle. A simple phone call, fax or email is all it takes to set the gears in motion and my charitable gifts are on their way to organizations making a difference in Central New York and beyond.
My donor-advised fund appeals to both the sense of service and compassion that I acquired as a teacher and the financial sense I utilized to successfully run a business. My charitable giving is easy, fun and rewarding thanks to the Community Foundation.


Our website will be undergoing routine maintenance on Monday, January 21, 2019. Visitors may experience disruption of service during this time. Please contact us at (315) 422-9538 during our office hours for assistance: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Please note we are closed Monday, January 21 for Martin Luther King Day.