Anne Ladky and Karen Fishman’s philanthropy is primarily driven by one theme: systemic change for a more equitable society.
Both women dedicated their careers to service in the nonprofit sector—Ladky as executive director of Women Employed for over three decades, and Fishman as the head of Music of the Baroque for 18 years and before that, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, the Ounce of Prevention Fund, and Chicago NOW. Today, Ladky is a member of the Trust’s Executive Committee.
When the couple decided to bequeath a portion of their estate to their donor advised fund at the Trust, they had two key reasons: shared vision and stewardship. “We’re big believers in the Trust’s strategic plan and commitment to equity,” says Ladky. Fishman adds, “We’ve also seen the quality of the Trust’s stewardship of financial resources, and we know our heirs will be well supported by the staff when it comes to the disposition of the funds.”
Fishman and Ladky’s giving is uniquely informed by their 60+ years of combined experience leading nonprofits. “As creative and resilient as organizations have been in these tough times, my concern continues to be that too many are underfunded in terms of capacity. I hope more people will give more money to make our nonprofits strong enough to respond to opportunities and challenges,” Ladky says.
Fishman agrees 100 percent. “One organization can’t change an entire system, but it can make real progress if it can seize the right opportunities at the right time. Investing in an organization’s capacity makes it easier to do that.”