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