Insights from Joe and Margot Thompson

Giving back to the community is something that Joe & Margot Thompson have been doing for many decades. The Thompson’s started their business, Thompson Tire, 52 years ago. They both worked at the business, but Margot spent a half-day and eventually a whole day each week volunteering in the community. She spent 30-years volunteering with the Community Health Center of the New River Valley (formerly the Free Clinic), has served on the board of the Montgomery Museum of Art and History and co-chaired the Montgomery County Christmas Store board; just to name a few. Margot realized during her time volunteering the great need low-income families in our community face. She would share stories with Joe about her time volunteering and the need of the community, and they both wanted to make an impact. Not just an impact today; but an impact for years to come.

Around 10 years ago, the Thompsons retired; and created a non-profit dental service charity now called Dental Aid NRV. Through the work of Dental Aid NRV, they slowly became more familiar with the Community Foundation of the New River Valley (CFNRV), and the different services that the CFNRV offers with funds and endowments created, such as scholarships and giving out grants to different focus areas in the community. Around the same time Joe shared that “Margot and I debated among ourselves where best to leave our accumulated assets to help our neighbors most in need. One important consideration for us was to have our donated assets generate income to a charity over many years rather than have a lump sum of money be donated all at once. The idea that revenue could be available over many years, perhaps decades was appealing to us. Endowments were an answer for Margot and me where we might place most of our final assets. To provide some immediate continuity of income for our charity, we created an endowment at the CFNRV that has been providing annual income from the investments for a number of years now.”

The Thompson’s have had such a good experience with this endowment, they decided they would place their final undesignated assets with the CFNRV at the time of death. They were able to work with their attorney and the CFNRV and created a new charitable endowment, that when in affect will provide services to NRV citizens most in need for decades to come. Joe said “Yes, income could be generated for 50 or more years. Perhaps 100 or more years”. Just the thought of making an impact that lasting sealed the deal for them. “We have every bit of confidence that the CFNRV will be around that long and will continue to offer the services that make their nonprofit deserving of the confidence we place in them.” The Thompson’s also appreciate how the CFNRV can be a one-stop shop for anyone interested in making an impact. You can place all your money into a fund towards one specific area of focus or spread it amongst several focus areas.

“That’s not all” Margot mentioned “Joe and I recently created a Charitable Remainder Unitrust [CRUT] to which we made a tax-deductible donation to provide annual income for both our lives. The principal remaining balance after the final death would flow to the CFNRV to be placed in a designated endowment. This tax favored donation vehicle allowed us to offset most of the looming big tax bite from the sale of a commercial property we owned for many years that was almost fully depreciated. Income now and for the rest of our lives, and a tax deduction now, how nice. The money will eventually flow to our designated charity at the CFNRV to provide income for years and years to come to help our neighbors most in need.”

The Thompsons have utilized many different tools to achieve different philanthropic goals throughout the years. Their legacy will be an endowment that continues to give when they are no longer with us, and the individuals and families they impact will far surpass the dollar amount given. In the end, isn’t that what it is all about? Loving your neighbor as yourself and giving selflessly.

For anyone that is interested in in starting an endowment, or fund with the CFNRV, or has questions about the CRUT, please reach out to Executive Director, Jessica Wirgau.