The Potential of Philanthropy
The Foundation’s potential to impact positive social change has evolved since its inception more than two decades ago.
When David and Lura Lovell decided to establish a family foundation in 1994, they were motivated by the simple desire to “do some good” with their money. From the beginning, Lura Lovell and the Board of Advisors realized how important it would be to cultivate relationships with the people and organizations they would fund. Both Lura and her daughter Ann Lovell invested countless hours working together with nonprofits – sharing expertise, building relationships, and exploring opportunities – before funding specific projects or programs.
When Ann Lovell took over as president of the Foundation in 2013, she was already an influential philanthropist involved in a number of charitable endeavors across the globe. She took the “do some good” idea beyond writing checks to worthy causes to a new level of philanthropy based on her mother’s roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-involved model. This hands-on philanthropic leadership has and continues to be a hallmark of the Foundation.
Opportunities Present Themselves
“We need to start finding our own solutions. How do we connect and build together and recognize that we can do it? It’s about hope – and with hope come possibilities that create opportunities,” Ann said.
“We also need to accept that real change happens slowly over time and takes a lot of work.” Ann likes to quote her great-aunt, Theodora Winton Youmans, an early suffragette who helped women gain the right to vote. In 1919 she said, “The careless world will probably continue to think that women’s suffrage just happened, that it was ‘in the air.’ But we know that the changes in the opinions of society which made it possible are the result of ceaseless, unremitting toil.”
That unremitting toil was behind the Foundation’s leadership in forming The Bravewell Collaborative and, more recently, the Arizona End of Life Care Partnership. Both initiatives simply provided the structure, stability, and funding for people who were already involved so that, together, they could create broader impact.
“Our work is leveraging others, facilitating and bringing people to the table. This can be a huge gift because what comes from those meetings, what comes from connecting people, can be life-changing and often world-changing,” Ann said.
Being able to participate in these and other collaborative efforts has led the Foundation to decide to focus solely on high-impact initiatives and to accelerate its grantmaking now, when so much needs to be done to address pressing social needs.
To accomplish this, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees has decided to spend down all its assets by 2030. This will allow the Foundation to deepen its funding commitment in the near term, while creating lasting change for the long term.
The best philanthropists are visionaries who invest in the people who create innovation and change. We celebrate all the people we have helped support since our inception as they have done the real work. We have been so fortunate to partner with so many champions and look forward to continuing to “do some good” as we begin this next chapter of our work.