My husband and I were activists working with many groups, for peace and justice. We contributed money to these groups but mostly we ‘sat on’ our money. We kept waiting for the issue, or the opportunity significant enough to give half of our assets.
In 1976 we decided it was time. We wanted to dedicate $500,000 to social change in the Northwest. We realized we needed help, so we turned to other activists to get their ideas and advice. After numerous meetings, consultations, considerable research, and a long weekend, we all decided to start a foundation to support grassroot groups doing social change work. For many years afterwards we continued to give 50% of our income to environmental, human rights, and peace groups.
Times have changed. In recent years I have had to cap my contributions to 10% of a smaller income. I am still asked for major contributions, and even though it sometimes feels odd, in a way I don’t mind because I know that asking is a key to fundraising.
I am quite proud to have launched the foundation. Despite some hard times around money and leadership the foundation has gone on for almost 30 years and has given about $5 million dollars to great organizations. That was money well spent!
Leslie died on August 31st, 2009. You can read more about her life and the causes she care about most in tributes to her published in the Eugene Weekly
| West | 60 plus Years Old | $1-$10M | at least 50% | Inheritance |
| Peace | Social Justice | Fairness | Passion | Simplicity |