1996 Capital Fund Raising Reaches Almost $1.5 Million
Kurtz Gifts Total $600,000
The following article is from the Secular
Humanist Bulletin, Volume 13, Number 1.
During 1996 donors gave or pledged almost $1.5 million to two capital fund drives
benefiting The Center for Inquiry.
The Fund for the Future campaign seeks to
add $20 million to the endowments and program expansion funds of the Council for Secular Humanism and the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of
the Paranormal (CSICOP). This will support expanded operations at The Center for Inquiry - International
(Amherst, N.Y.) and help the Council and CSICOP achieve their ten year development plans.
The Rallying Point campaign seeks to raise $1 million in less than two
years to support development and operation of The Center for Inquiry - West,
a fully-staffed branch office of the Council and CSICOP in the Los Angeles, California
"Donor participation in 1996 exceeded our expectations," said Anthony
Battaglia, Development Officer of the Council and CSICOP. "In fact, 1996's almost
$1.5 million pace exceeded the best twelve months of our previous Price of Reason
campaign, which raised more than $4 million to construct and endow the Center for Inquiry
Chief Development Officer James Kimberly, who coordinates the CFI-West Rallying
Point drive, added, "Our previous Price of Reason capital drive was a
building fund drive. Donors can immediately see the importance of bricks and mortar. Part
of Rallying Point seeks building funds, but it also funds endowment and
programs. Those can seem more abstract, though they're closer to the mission of our
organizations. So we're delighted to see how strongly our early donors have
Highlights of the campaign year include:
- The James Hervey Johnson Charitable Educational Trust of San Diego, California provided
a $275,000 matching grant. This grant toward construction of a Center for Inquiry - West in
Los Angeles will be paid when new Rallying Point pledges and gifts
totaling $275,000 are raised in 1997.
- Dr. Leonardo Chait and his wife Virginia Li formed a $235,000 trust to benefit the
- Attendees of the World Skeptics Congress in June 1996 contributed a record $108,975 to
the Fund for the Future campaign.
- Reynold and Jennie Hyde established a $100,000 unitrust to benefit the Fund for the Future campaign.
The campaigns' largest single gift was announced in the closing weeks of 1996. Paul
Kurtz, founder of the Council for Secular Humanism, formed
two trust funds totaling $500,000. The trusts will benefit the Fund for the Future campaign. This half-million
dollar gift marks the largest single contribution in the history of either organization.
It will be held in trust and will pay interest during the lives of Dr. Kurtz and his wife,
then be divided equally between the endowments of the Council
for Secular Humanism and CSICOP.
Combined with gifts pledged earlier in the year, Dr. Kurtz - who serves without salary
or compensation as chair of the Council - has committed some $600,000 toward the future of
the organizations he founded.
Dr. Kurtz underwent heart surgery in December and is recuperating very well. He
anticipates returning to work early in 1997.
"Many of the larger gifts in 1996 took the form of unitrusts and other trust
funds," observed Anthony Battaglia. "Such arrangements can provide donors with
lifetime income and significant tax advantages while powerfully helping to insure the
future of the Council and CSICOP." Most support has come from individuals thus far,
but foundation grants also played an important role in our 1996 success.
A variety of planned giving arrangements are available. The Development Office can also
assist donors in structuring grants of cash, marketable assets, or multi-year pledges in
order to provide maximum benefit to donor and beneficiary alike.
For information on the Fund for the Future
campaign, write Development Office, Center for Inquiry - International, P.O. Box 664,
Amherst NY 14226, telephone (716)636-7571. For information on the Rallying Point
campaign, write Development Office, Center for Inquiry - West, 5521 Grosvenor Blvd., Los
Angeles CA 90066, 310-306-2847. All requests will be handled in confidence.
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