When the Piper Shores’ founders—including longtime resident Mert Henry—envisioned what Piper Shores could be, they sought to establish a place that would foster a sense of community and belonging. They sought to create a lifecare retirement community that would be resilient to financial storms and other uncertainties.
In their wisdom, they created the Piper Shores’ Endowment Fund to protect residents in the event of financial hardship. “Residents are here for life,” explains Joe Delafield, Piper Shores resident and chair of the endowment committee. “If their ability to make the monthly payments is compromised, they are not going to be asked to leave. The endowment fund is here to provide a recourse so those payments can be made out of the endowment fund rather than become a financial burden to Piper Shores.”
Supported by resident contributions, the primary purpose is to provide financial assistance to residents whose financial resources have eroded to the point where they are unable to meet the monthly financial obligation to Piper Shores. The secondary purpose – to the extent that the endowment fund has the ability to do so over its first obligation – is to stabilize the monthly fees paid by residents to Piper Shores. This second purpose has never been realized, however, because the size of the fund is limited.
Delafield explains that the endowment fund – currently valued at less than $1 million – is invested with H.M. Payson & Co., the Portland-based investment advisory firm that handles all of Piper Shores’ investments. The problem is that the fund must grow in order to meet its objectives. “While the intent of the fund is noble, the value of the fund is entirely inadequate at this time,” says Delafield, who, along with other members of the endowment committee, is making a point of raising awareness of the fund with an eye toward doubling or tripling its value.
“The current returns from invested funds are not adequate to support the costs of two residents in need of full financial support,” says Delafield. “In today’s market, one would need $3 million to $5 million just to cover two people. So, the committee’s task is to grow that fund so that it can meet its primary objective.”
If one resident is unable to make their monthly payment, the financial burden to Piper Shores is currently about $45,000 per year, notes Delafield. It’s conceivable that a resident could face a number of financial challenges over which they have no control, such as unusual or unexpected expenses, family emergencies, or a significant downturn in the stock market. In fact, says Delafield, because Piper Shores is such a great place to live, many residents are here beyond their life expectancy and can outlive their financial resources. The endowment fund is a potential resource that can help make up that shortfall.
What really works here is the community
Delafield believes that the work to grow the endowment is both personal and achievable. “Piper Shores is just a sensational community and a place that people like to live, in large part because of the strong bond between residents and employees,” he says. “Our purpose on the committee is entirely related to the fact that the endowment fund is a means by which Piper Shores’ residents are able to support our own community. We can, in a very tangible way, support the less fortunate who – through no fault of their own – need support.”
Because of clear lines of confidentiality, the endowment committee has no relationship with the distribution of funds or the selection of residents who might benefit from the fund. The Piper Shores’ Endowment Fund focuses on providing assistance when and where it’s needed, and the charge of the endowment committee is to grow the fund.
How to support the endowment fund
The endowment committee is made up of seven active members, all of whom are residents. One member also serves as liaison to the Piper Shores’ board of directors. The seven-member committee is setting aspirational goals for the fund, spreading the word about the need to grow the fund, and actively encouraging donations. There are a number of easy ways to give, explains Delafield, and because Piper Shores is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization, whatever one does qualifies as a charitable deduction.
Here are some ways to give:
- The fund accepts outright cash donations in the form of a check or money order.
- One may make a pledge to the fund over multiple years.
- Residents may pledge part or all their entrance fee to the endowment fund, especially if they are in the fortunate position of not relying on the Piper Shores’ entrance fee refund as part of their estate.
- A simple bequest could be made toward the fund.
- Tax annuities can be used to support the fund, which are useful because they can provide tax benefits and also guarantee a stream of income.
To learn more about leaving a lasting legacy, contact Piper Shores’ CEO today.