Leaving a legacy

Now that’s what I call leaving a legacy

The Pride Foundation announced yesterday that former donor and Microsoft founder Ric Weiland bequeathed $65 million to the Pride Foundation and other GLBT groups when he died just over a year ago. A front page Seattle Times article yesterday reported the details.

Now in the interest of full disclosure I should tell you that I was on the board of the Pride Foundation for four years. I had a great time, I love the organization and still support them. But I can say with some confidence that I would have some of the same thoughts about this amazing news even if I hadn’t been involved with the organization.

What impressed me, beyond the obvious:

  • The Pride Foundation handled Ric’s bequest with tremendous grace and skill. Receiving news of a gift this size can put any organization into a tailspin. There are a million questions to be answered, limitless possibilities open up threatening to pull you off-mission. Pride has stayed focused and intentional in their planning efforts and communications with the community.
  • For Pride, another key concern is that current donors will think their gifts are no longer needed. Fundraising efforts often serve as an important community-building strategy, and this is especially so in this case. As a donor, I received a thoughtful letter in advance of Sunday’s Seattle Times article with details about the bequest and FAQ, which addressed this very topic quite well.

I will continue to support this great organization, even though they now have more money than they ever dreamed. Not because they need it, but because I need them – their ability to inspire, motivate and create meaningful change has a real impact on my life and many others’.



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