Jan Marks learned philanthropy through example. Her mother runs a family foundation and their Jewish tradition teaches that charity is an important part of life. Jan established the Don Blaugrund LGBT Fund and is a major donor to the Rainbow Fund, which support local organizations and programs that promote acceptance and understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Jan Marks adored her uncle Maurice (Don) Blaugrund, just as he adored her. As the only gay members of their family, they formed a bond that survives even after his death, with Jan managing his estate. “He was an innovative thinker who directed that his money go to funding the lesbian and gay community, with me as the decision maker,” says Jan, who has thoughtfully followed through on his wishes.
Sustainability in Action: as both the trust placed in Jan by her uncle, and her own generosity illustrate, donors with quite specific charitable interests can create flexible, community-supporting funds that make grants at their discretion and are aligned with their wishes. If Jan’s intention is realized, perhaps lesbians and gay men will experience themselves as integrated into the larger community with a high level of self-esteem and acceptance.