RVA Visionary Society
The RVA Visionary Society offers visionary donors a way to lead with a unique gift that will benefit the Richmond and Central Virginia region 50 and 100 years from now. Recognizing how difficult it is to predict the needs of the future, donations to the RVA Visionary Society will create an unrestricted endowment that will be invested and untouched for half a century. During this time, the endowment will grow exponentially to produce significant, flexible funds that will proactively and profoundly impact our community and its residents for generations to come.
The concept was inspired by Ben Franklin, who in his will left bequests to Boston and Philadelphia predicated on their stewardship of the asset for 100 years before expending funds to benefit their citizens. A portion of the funds was then reinvested for another 100 years. Important public works projects were funded, including the Franklin Institute, one of the country’s foremost science centers.
Our goal is to raise $2.5 million for the RVA Visionary Society by the Community Foundation's 50th anniversary in 2018. By fully investing these funds for 50 years, we expect these funds will reach an estimated value of at least $100 million by the Foundations’s 100th anniversary in 2068.
How It Works
The power of compound interest is astounding! To become a Member of the RVA Visionary Society requires an investment of at least $25,000. If the Community Foundation (through The Richmond Fund, managed by Spider Management Company) can earn a return of 8% over 50 years with no grant expenditures and no compensation to the Foundation, then your original gift of $25,000 will obtain a value of $1 million in 2068—the Community Foundation’s 100th anniversary.
At that time, grantmaking from this unrestricted endowment can begin immediately. The unrestricted nature of the endowment means that the Community Foundation’s Board of Governors will be able to use these funds to address the community's needs deemed most pressing at that time. Then, mirroring Ben Franklin’s will, 20% of this unrestricted endowment fund will be re-invested for a second 50-year period.
Gifts made prior to 2018 will have extra time to accumulate value. Pledges may be made over time, but all payments are due by December 31, 2018.
Individuals or businesses that contribute $25,000 or more will be recognized as Members and those contribute $5,000 or more will be recognized as Friends. Unless donors wish to remain anonymous, their names will be listed in the Community Foundation's electronic and print publications.
If you are interested in recording your values, vision or giving philosophy for the purpose of sharing with future generations, we would be happy to help.