Our fund started as an idea between two of our advisors two years ago and blossomed into what you see today. Advisors Donny Murray and Laura Hazzard were catching up in Los Angeles about how they had a great support system growing up that allowed them to learn, grow, and cultivate their own success. Realizing what a privilege this was, they wanted to help others to have the same by making an impact together. As Donny left to go home to Columbus, this idea bubbled inside their minds. Over the next couple of years, they both focused on their lives with Donny working on the #SaveTheCrew effort, serving on the Board of Green Columbus, and having his first child. Meanwhile, Laura became a foster parent, serving the Los Angeles community.
Fast forward to early 2020, the pandemic was in full swing and a powerful movement for racial justice and equality was swiping across the country. Both were hit with the fact that action couldn’t wait any longer. Throughout the late spring and summer, they coordinated over long Zoom calls as the structure and mission of the Cultivating Success Fund started to take shape.
Their goal was to form a vehicle that allowed for them and their closest friends from their upbringing to pool financial resources to give back in a meaningful, fulfilling, and impactful way. A Donor-Advised Fund was chosen at The Columbus Foundation due to the ease of start-up, great support and reputation of The Columbus Foundation, and the ability to continue this idea far into the future.
The next step was pitching their friends, who are all 2005 graduates from Westerville North High School, and their spouses. Through Zoom meetings, due to the pandemic and the fact that everyone is now spread across the country, a group of 15 of their friends committed to the idea and the fund was formed. These 15 friends would now become the Board of Advisors to govern the fund.
The Board of Advisors after their first successful meeting on August 1st, 2020 to start the fund.
Everyone was excited to be making an impact, together with people that had shaped their lives. The name, Cultivating Success Fund, was chosen due to the goal of allowing others to have the success that they have achieved. They all knew that there is not one action or person that allows someone to achieve success but a strong network and cultivation; and the name was born.
The fund was officially created at The Columbus Foundation on August 19th, 2020. Ever since that day, The Board of Advisors’ goal is to continue to grow the impact they can have together by building strong support structures for families and individuals, allowing them to learn, grow, and cultivate success.