As an educator and community organizer, philanthropy was big part of Ann Weiner’s family life. Her grandfather paved the way by establishing the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation in 1947. She remembers discussing scholarship applications with her mother and father, and having conversations about philanthropy at Thanksgiving dinners. All family members became involved in the Foundation. Ann joined its Board in 1962 and has served on many of its committees. It’s a tradition that is carried on throughout her family — two of her children have served on the board previously, and two are currently serving.
When it came to her own philanthropy, instead of waiting until she passed away to leave money to the causes she cares about, Ann opened a donor advised fund so that her money could be put to use by nonprofits much more quickly. Ann makes regular allocations from her donor advised fund directly to organizations vetted by Noyes that work on the issues important to her — women’s reproductive health, the environment, immigration, food justice.
She believes strongly in using her donor advised fund responsibly. “I make allocations from the fund on a regular basis and it is flexible enough so that if there are extraordinary opportunities, I could give more in one year than another,” she says. “It’s irresponsible to make the contribution to a donor advised fund and leave it there.”
Ann is happy that she is having an immediate impact. “Nonprofits need the money now. The money can make real change.”