Photo by Matthew Holler

Nonprofit


The Best Pitch I Ever Got

Dawn-Marie Driscoll

“I certainly do not see myself as a philanthropist,” says Dawn-Marie Driscoll, 72, “but I think at some point you start to think about whether you can make a difference while you’re still alive.” When it comes to making an impact, the Cape Coral resident believes strongly in endowed funds. Those are investment funds that only draw on the interest generated, not the principal. Because the principal is held in perpetuity, it supports the community into the future.  “Rather than just writing a check and making a contribution to a nonprofit,” she says, “I think endowed funds are the best way to start something that will continue, even if you start it now with a little bit of money and then you leave 10 to 50 percent of your estate down the road.” Driscoll and her husband, Norman Marcus, who passed away in 2018, started the Norman Marcus Scholarship Fund through the Southwest Florida Community Foundation in 2014. It awards scholarships to students in five counties—Lee, Hendry, Glades, Charlotte and Collier—based on need, many of them first-generation college students and immigrants. “We started that with a little bit of money, and when he died a lot of people contributed to it,” Driscoll says. “I believe we can do more together, with other people.” Driscoll also co-created the Land of Opportunity Fund, which focuses on legal services for local immigrants.  “We started this initiative long before the last election, so it
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