Stengel Family Fund
The Valley Community Foundation and the idea of establishing a fund were new concepts to Art Stengel and his family. Nevertheless, the Stengel family took a leap of faith and entrusted VCF with not a sizeable fund, which will now impact the community for generations to come.
“When I was selling my business, I was talking with a friend who had done the same,” said Art. “He pointed out that there are tax advantages to making a large donation to a donor advised fund where you could receive the full tax deduction, especially with the new tax reform.” As they talked further, Art recognized that although this particular funding vehicle was unfamiliar to him, the ability to donate to causes that were important was simply a natural extension of his family’s long-standing habit of supporting nonprofit organizations.
“I asked my accountant for more information, and she explained how we could put aside charitable dollars from the sale of the company and then allocate donations every year out to the charities of our choice,” Art said. “Right now, my wife and I will decide where this money will be distributed. When we’re gone, we named our children, Kevin and Kylie, as the successor advisors who make those decisions on behalf of our family. It is a win-win for all involved. As a result, we could accomplish what we wanted to do, while also receiving benefits like a less onerous tax reporting process each year. I was happy that VCF became such a good fit for us.”
Although he grew up in Huntington, the Stengel family’s outreach will extend well past Shelton and the Valley to organizations that have impacted them in some way. Art said, “The way Sharon described the fund, there are no restrictions and we can support any recognized 501C3 in the United States that we choose.”
Art met with VCF President and CEO Sharon Closius to learn how VCF would manage the money. He especially appreciated the foundation’s investment strategy and the fund’s potential to grow over time. He added, “Sharon was great, explaining how the fund would work and how easy it would be to add to it in the future. The fact that VCF is located here in the Valley made it easy for me to visit in person, and helped add to my confidence in its work. I look forward to seeing this process through to when we actually make those grants from our fund and realize results in the community now and for years to come."