30th Anniversary of Fund Underscores the Power of Endowments

As perpetual trusts, endowments allow donors to take the long view with charitable giving. This year marks the 30th anniversary of one such example.

Upon her passing fifty years ago local philanthropist, Ella C. McFadden, instructed that the remains of her estate should be endowed to benefit nonprofit agencies in Tarrant County. Thirty years ago, administrators of the original trust transferred the assets to create the Ella C. McFadden Endowment Fund, stewarded by Community Foundation of North Texas.

Based on the pattern of Mrs. McFadden’s giving during her lifetime, 13 specific nonprofit agencies in Tarrant County were selected to be permanent recipients of the endowment created in her name. By choosing to endow her bequest, Mrs. McFadden ensured the principle of her philanthropic gift would remain intact, creating a perpetual source of income for those agencies rather than a one-time gift.

As with all endowed funds at the Community Foundation, the McFadden Fund is invested in a long-term investment pool. Each year, a pre-established percentage is distributed to charities that Mrs. McFadden supported during her lifetime. The rest remains invested, so the fund will never be depleted. Today, the McFadden Fund is valued at about $28 million.

More importantly, the Ella C. McFadden Endowment Fund at Community Foundation of North Texas has paid out more than $25 million to 13 local charities. That’s more than double the initial gift of $12.6 million that was used to establish the fund.

Fifty years after passing, Ella C. McFadden continues to leave her legacy.

The 13 nonprofit agencies benefiting from the Ella C. McFadden Endowment Fund are:

  • Boy Scouts – Longhorn Council
  • Camp Fire – First Texas Council
  • Cassata Learning Center
  • Child Study Center
  • Fort Worth Country Day School
  • Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains
  • Meals on Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County
  • Nolan Catholic High School
  • Lena Pope Home
  • Salvation Army
  • Tarrant Area Food Bank
  • Trinity Valley School
  • Union Gospel Mission of Fort Worth

To celebrate 30 years of giving from the Ella C. McFadden Endowment Fund, Community Foundation of North Texas will host a series called 13 Days of Giving. Each weekday, December 1-17, we’ll share a story from one of the 13 nonprofits highlighting how they impact this region thanks to her visionary gift. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to receive the daily alerts, or visit www.cfntx.org.


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