SUPPORTING STUDENT SUCCESS
“The Community Foundation is an essential asset to the South Coast community at large and a driving force behind issues I care about….”
– ERIC BRAITMAYER
Eric Braitmayer grew up appreciating the power of philanthropy. His parents, Nancy and Jack, raised him and his two sisters in a culture of giving back. They are incredibly active in the community, volunteering and providing funding for local educational institutions, initiatives, and school supplies through their personal giving and on a national level through their family foundation. His parents continue to this day to be an inspiration.
“I’ve always admired my parents’ generosity and their life-long dedication to improving educational outcomes,” reflected Eric. “While they are still alive to appreciate its impact, I wanted to create a fund with an education focus in their honor. However, I didn’t want the heavy administrative lift that is required in a private foundation.” Eric chose the Community Foundation for this reason but also because he felt the Foundation is “an essential asset to the South Coast community at large and a driving force behind issues I care about. Also, partnering with the Community Foundation means I don’t have to worry which direction future generations might take the fund. Their stewardship will be long lasting.”
Recognizing his good fortune of quality education and the opportunities that came with it, Eric wanted to find a way to help others who do not have the same access or support. Initially, Eric discussed setting up a traditional, tuition-focused scholarship that we were happy to create. However, through our consultation, he became aware of other needs like college and career mentoring, academic tutoring, and financial management training to help individuals finish college and transition into a productive career. Eric was immediately drawn to the issue and wanted our help to address it. As a result, Eric shifted the fund’s focus from tuition to services that support student success by meeting basic needs and teaching life skills. Commenting on the experience, he said, “the Community Foundation listened to what I wanted to do, shared with me what is happening in the community, and together we came to a powerful solution. I would have missed this pressing need had the Community Foundation done what I asked, no questions asked.”