Meet Our Donors
After many years of rental home ownership, Marilyn Rudin decided to sell. She researched her options and discovered that her best solution was to donate the house to the Portland Art Museum through a charitable remainder trust (CRT). The CRT created an ongoing income stream to replace the rental income without the problems of property management and gave her a significant tax deduction that she could use for up to six years. The Museum provided Marilyn with turnkey services by listing and selling the property with the real estate agent of her choice. More »
The proceeds are invested and monitored by the Portland Art Museum. Marilyn’s CRT will distribute 5 percent of its value annually to her for the rest of her life. Whatever remains will be given to the Museum, ensuring that the institution she has supported as a donor and volunteer for so many years during her lifetime will also have her support in perpetuity.
Marilyn cares deeply about the Museum and enjoys supporting and sharing it with visitors. It is not uncommon to see Marilyn volunteering her time at the Museum by welcoming visitors. When asked what inspired her generosity, she often talks about how art is a catalyst and helps us grasp the diversity of the world and its history. She likes that her museum strives to be accessible as a resource for many and not a luxury for a few, and that a third of all visitors receive free or reduced price admission.
In fact, recently Marilyn took her generosity one step further. In addition to creating the CRT funded with real estate, Marilyn also learned that it can be quite tax efficient to name the Museum as beneficiary of her IRA too.
As an interior designer, Robert Trotman is known for his strong sense of style and color. He is a designer without a particular "look," but the finished product is perfectly suited to the structure and function of the space and respectful of its occupants. Not surprisingly, his favorite projects involve the extensive use of art. More »
As a docent and a donor to the Museum, Trotman has found yet another way to bring art into people's lives. With every Museum tour that he leads, Trotman draws on his background in history to provide context for the art objects he talks about. He skillfully blends the interests of the visitor with the works they are viewing, giving each participant more to see and more to learn. "Docents help to open minds, so people can experience the art on both a cerebral and aesthetic level and then integrate it into their personal lives," he says.
For Trotman, who has also practiced law and studied architecture, the visual arts are central to nearly every aspect of life. Like many other members of the Ella Hirsch Legacy Society who have included the Museum in their will or estate plans, Trotman's involvement with the Museum grew over several years. At first he was a casual visitor, and later became a Patron Society member. Then he joined some of the Museum's art councils and became a docent. When the Museum embarked on the North Building Campaign he stretched to provide a major gift to that effort. Trotman drafted his first will in his 30s, and added a charitable component later on. Having no children and knowing his estate could become substantial over time, he made sure that his estate plans reflected what was most important in his life, and that included the visual and performing arts.
When asked why the Portland Art Museum is one of those fortunate beneficiaries, he quickly responded, "Well, that's easy. The Museum's scale and history; and the fact that it is always changing with new acquisitions and exhibitions. All of these things mean that there are many areas where my gift could be used, and that gift will benefit the whole community—forever."
"We're just ordinary people," said Peggy Corgan, when asked why she and husband Chuck agreed to be featured in Summer 2008 issue of the Members' Magazine. "We are not among the wealthy people who give to the Portland Art Museum. More »
But we want others to know that even ‘ordinary people' like us can be members of the Ella Hirsch Legacy Society."
From the Museum's perspective, the Corgans are hardly "ordinary." Peggy has served as a volunteer at the Rental/Sales Gallery since 1968. Chuck followed her into volunteer work nine years ago following retirement. He assists with events and exhibition openings, as well as with the children's programs. After maintaining a dual/family membership for many years, they recently joined the Patron Society, using the option of a rollover from their IRA to do so. And they also made provisions for a future gift from their estate through their family trust—making them members of the Ella Hirsch Legacy Society.
After 52 years of marriage, they can almost finish one another's sentences. They are in agreement when it comes to why they volunteer at the Museum: "For the children," they say, almost in unison. But they differ slightly in other respects. Peggy says that to her, philanthropy is mostly about giving her time; while Chuck is financially more generous and gives to a number of nonprofit organizations. The Corgans have experienced a lot of change and growth at the Museum, and are thrilled to be a part of it. At the Rental/Sales Gallery, Peggy encourages parents and grandparents to give a 3-month art rental as a gift to the children in their lives. "Get them started early learning about art," she said. "It will lead to a lifetime of interest while helping them develop their personal color and design sense."
When Seattle resident Linda Green inherited her parents' estate in 2009, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that it was larger than expected. As the Greens' only child and a single woman with no heirs, Linda took the stewardship of her inheritance very seriously. She sought the advice of an estate planning attorney and created a living trust. More »
In honor of her parents' involvement with the Portland Art Museum and their passion for art education, 100 percent of the proceeds of the trust will come to the Museum upon Linda's death. "It's what they wanted. It's what they would have expected of me," she says. Linda's parents, Lloyd and Ella Green, moved to Portland from Washington, D.C., in 1973 when Lloyd became president of Cal-Ore Machinery Co. Lloyd had a good income from his work as well as in retirement, allowing Ella to do volunteer work, maintain homes in northeast Portland and Cannon Beach, and raise Linda.
They were a close-knit family. The Portland cultural scene was quite different from what they had experienced on the East Coast. The couple sampled volunteer opportunities with the Symphony and Opera before settling on the Museum. Both enjoyed art, collecting Japanese art and possessing two Andrew Wyeth prints as a reminder of living next door to him in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania during World War II. As a Freemason, Lloyd took an interest in the transformation of the Masonic Temple into what is now the Mark Building— working to preserve the character of the structure as well as to provide a wonderful place for great art and community interaction. He also enjoyed volunteering at the Rental Sales Gallery. Ella became deeply involved with the Asian Art Council. They both volunteered to help with big events held at the Museum, which gave them the opportunity to meet people and experience the grand galas that marked the opening of special exhibitions. When it came to their own philanthropy, the Greens were very private. Giving of one's time and talent was important, but they always gave their money anonymously. "You'll never see our names on a list or up on a wall as long as we are alive," Ella told her daughter. They had learned to give this way from their parents. Linda, in turn, was inspired by them in creating this thoughtful bequest.