Before Scott Belleman was the Life & Legacy Committee Chair, he was a financial planner in an office across the parking lot from JFS. “I didn’t even know what JFS did,” he joked. Now retired, Scott keeps busy with the classic hobbies – golf, tennis, bridge – and a more unusual one: “I love deferred giving. This is my retirement hobby. Volunteering with the Life & Legacy Committee made me passionate about JFS.”
Scott’s perspective on legacy giving is as informed by his career as it by his infectious sense of social responsibility. “I never found it difficult to ask people to give back to their community. Legacy giving isn’t just a nice idea. It’s an obligation, a recognition of what your community has given you: your friends, your teachers, your coaches. Once you feel that obligation to give back, it’s not hard to ask other people to do the same.”
And that’s exactly what he’s done as the chair of JFS’ Life & Legacy Committee: invite others to ensure JFS will Transform Lives and Strengthen Our Community for generations to come. “There’s always going to be the need for care, counseling, and adoption services. If there were no need, there’d be no JFS. Deferred and endowment giving will allow JFS to serve more people, no matter what the world looks like in fifty years.”
When asked to reflect on what he’s enjoyed about the Life & Legacy program itself, Scott doesn’t hesitate. “I loved watching the whole community get how important deferred giving is. Even though Life & Legacy is a new name, it’s not a new idea. Colleges are good at it, but most organizations aren’t.
“That’s the great gift of the Grinspoon Foundation. They put the idea of legacy giving in everyone’s head. There’s so much passion and generosity in the community, and this should be part of it. The Life & Legacy program made the whole theme of legacy giving more focused, more efficient, more impactful.”
It’s hard not to be swept up in Scott’s optimism. “The future of legacy giving looks good, especially at JFS. With this gift of momentum from the Grinspoon Foundation and RJF, JFS will continue to grow our circle of passionate legacy donors, our endowment, and our impact in Richmond.”
As we look beyond the fourth year of the program and into the future, we are humbled by the compassion and generosity of the 53 individuals and couples who made a commitment to JFS through the Life & Legacy program. Thank you!