Four generations—and sale of lemonade—benefit Baltimore

December 03, 2013

Philanthropy is generosity in action, and it can be passed down through families as a precious and vibrant inheritance. Take, for instance, how philanthropy has been shared by four generations of the S.H. Shriver Jr. family.

Setting the Example

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Charitable Gift Annuity

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In 2005, Margot Shriver and her husband established an advised fund at BCF, the Margot and Sam Shriver Fund. She was following in the footsteps of her mother, Marion Ketcham, who also had an advised fund at BCF. Both women had taken a cue from Margot’s daughter Pam Shriver, who for many years used a fund at BCF to distribute the charitable proceeds from her annual Tennis Classic fundraiser.

After Sam died, Margot maintained close ties with BCF. Recently, with the approval and guidance of her financial advisor, she established a BCF charitable gift annuity. 

“I had to sell some stock because of a takeover,” she says. “If I took the money directly, it would have tax implications, so I gave it to BCF to create the annuity. It was an opportunity to use an appreciated asset to produce regular income for the rest of my life. It reduces my taxes now, and the remainder, after I die, will go to an advised fund and then become a Fund for Baltimore.”

The advised fund will be guided by her two daughters, Eleanor and Pam. “I will leave clues about my wishes in a little book I keep,” Margot says. “My grandchildren call me ‘Gogo,’ so I’ve named the book, ‘What to Do When Gogo Goes.’”

Margot was greatly relieved that she could work with BCF to set up the annuity. “In 1995, I had to sell another stock and tried to give it to BCF, but they were not doing these annuities at the time,” she recalls. “I gave it to another place, where its value has decreased, which is aggravating. I’m much happier that I was able to work with BCF when I had to sell this particular stock.”

Margot’s two daughters (a third daughter was lost to cancer in 1997) are carrying forward the family tradition of philanthropy. Former BCF trustee and professional tennis player Pam Shriver, who now lives on the West Coast, spearheaded an annual tennis fundraiser for 25 years to benefit the Tennis Classic Fund at BCF. Eleanor Shriver Magee is actively engaged in the nonprofit community in Easton, Md., where she and her family live. She served most recently as executive director for the Historical Society of Talbot County. 

Lemonade and Libations

Both Shriver sisters are passing the philanthropic torch to their children with an age-old summertime fundraising tactic: the lemonade stand. 

“Pam loves to come back home to Baltimore,” Margot says, “and when she visits, friends want to see her and the children. So we got the idea of having a lemonade stand, and we invited my friends and Eleanor and Pam’s friends. I thought we should offer other drinks to the grown-ups, so I came up with ‘Lemonade and Libations.’”

The four Shriver grandchildren—Eleanor’s son Timothy, now 9, Pam’s son George, 9, and twins Sam and Kate, 8—were enthusiastic about the venture. They made signs and set up shop.

“The first time we did this was in 2010, and the kids were pretty young,” Margot recalls. “They poured the lemonade all over. The first year, they charged five cents a cup. The next year they made their signs to read 25 cents per cup, and I said, ‘What?!’ Of course, all my friends would put a little bit more into whatever box I had on hand. They knew the kids were donating the proceeds to BCF.”

Margot has kept the letters of appreciation from BCF. She especially enjoys the first one in which Tom Wilcox writes, “Thank you for your gift of $25.65 on April 27, 2010.” He explains that he directed the funds to the Baltimore Police Foundation Mounted Units Fund. 

“The mounted police—it was perfect!” Margot says. Her grandchildren particularly liked the idea of helping the horses. The following year, the enterprising youngsters earned $47.70 for BCF. This year, they earned another $39.90, which is going toward the Invest in Baltimore Endowment Fund. More important than the amount, of course, is the practice of giving to the community.

“I’m not sure they totally grasp the idea of giving to BCF quite yet, but they do it,” Margot says. “It’s a wonderful family legacy, and I’m very pleased that it will continue.”

To learn more about setting up a charitable gift annuity at BCF like Margot Shriver, click here

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