Donor Desk: Louise Pescetta

Donor Desk: Louise Pescetta

Louise Pescetta recently made a gift to the Artistic Hubs Cohort fund from her Individual Retirement Account (IRA), taking advantage of a unique federal provision that allows anyone 70 ½ years or older to make an outright gift directly from their IRA to charitable organizations. This gift can meet all or part of one’s required minimum distribution. Learn more about qualified charitable distributions.

What issues are you passionate about? Why do you support SFF’s Artistic Hubs Cohort, which focuses on Bay Area arts organizations that advance racial and economic equity?

I’m an amateur musician and dancer and am grateful for all the small organizations in the Bay Area that let so many of us perform. This isn’t true all over the country, so we ought to support our local institutions.

Why is SFF’s commitment to racial equity and economic inclusion important to you?

I grew up in Oakland and it upsets me to see how divided everyone has become. It’s certainly true that we need to correct historical inequities, and I think SFF does a good job of fostering that.

Why did you choose to make a qualified charitable distribution from your IRA versus writing a check?

Almost all the money I have is in my IRA, and it’s more efficient to donate money directly rather than having to go through my own account. Since we haven’t spent money on travel and entertainment during COVID, I had some left over for this year and decided to give it to SFF. SFF is a beneficiary of my will, but it seemed better to start giving the money away while I can still enjoy the process.

What would you say to other donors who are thinking about partnering with SFF?

I thought a long time about where to donate a large part of my estate, and SFF seemed like the best combination in terms of programs that I’m interested in, as well as efficient and inclusive leadership.

How did you first get involved in philanthropy?

The mutual fund company I worked for my whole working life was very supportive of philanthropy, from the top to the bottom, and there were many programs that directed the company’s giving to charities that employees cared about. Also, the area where I worked had two mutual funds that specifically supported small charitable institutions, and I worked closely with many of them over the years. It really made me appreciate the hard work done by any size institution.