Building a Legacy

In 1998, Robert (Bob) Barrett was looking for a non profit to become actively involved with.  He wanted to know that his time and his financial support would make a difference- not be absorbed by high overhead.  It was then that he heard of The BASIC Fund through his friend and golfing partner, Jim McCarthy.  Bob found the BASIC Fund model intriguing.  The dollars go straight to helping the children be placed in a quality school of their family's choosing. After visiting a school, Bob was hooked. "The BASIC Fund keeps the parents engaged. They have skin in the game. Everyone is making a sacrifice in order to get these kids to the next level."  One story stuck with him- one of the children leading his school visit said that they felt safe at their new school. He realized that The BASIC Fund did more for families than help their kids graduate, it provided them a refuge from the pressure of gangs and violence that existed near most of their homes and public schools.

In recent years, Bob has made a significant impact on the development strategy for The BASIC Fund.  Through his involvement with a hospital in Florida, he has become an expert on the benefits of planned- or legacy- giving in a non-profit fundraising structure.  Bob brought this message back to The BASIC Fund.  "We have such an incredible and intimate group of donors at The BASIC Fund," he noted.  "While we are grateful for their dollars that help our program run year to year, we are missing out by not asking them to include The BASIC Fund in their estate plans."  Bob made the decision to include The BASIC Fund in his estate plan for a fixed dollar amount, after his family and other top priorities are taken care of.  "Whether it is a percentage, a fixed dollar amount, or something that will give the donor benefit during their lifetime- like a charitable annuity- it's important for non-profits like The BASIC Fund to have planned giving strategy in place."

In his role as Chairman of the Planned Giving subcommittee, Bob is helping The BASIC Fund assemble a team of advisers, a planned giving case statement, and other relevant materials about legacy giving.  When asked why it's important to him to include The BASIC Fund in his planned giving, he said, "Why not?  My family will be taken care of. These kids are our future.  If this money goes to the government, it won't be used as efficiently as it is at The BASIC Fund.  Every dollar makes a difference in a child's life.  How could I miss this opportunity to make a difference even after I am gone?"

For information about planned giving opportunities at The BASIC Fund, please contact Michelle Harris, Development Director, at or (415) 986-5650 x106 

Posted on March 2, 2015 .