Staff Blogger: Gretchen Colon, Vice President of Advancement & Communications


Imagine the Lakeside Endowment just beginning; a bold move by the Lakeside Chautauqua leaders. These leaders created a fund where the principle is maintained and invested to create a source of income to support the annual operations.

Even today, this vision to create a strong endowment remains critical for Lakeside’s future.

“The Lakeside Endowment is very small for a 142-year-old institution. With 47 structures, all an average age of 80 years old and hundreds of Chautauqua programs, we have an obligation to preserve the Lakeside Chautauqua experience for many more generations,” explains Lakeside Chautauqua President/CEO Kevin Sibbring.

The Lakeside Chautauqua Foundation publicly announced The Endowment for Life Initiative in 2012, a $12 million initiative. The goal of the initiative is to bring a heightened emphasis to the need of raising new deferred endowment gifts totaling more than $12 million by 2023.

Deferred gifts might include pledging an endowment gift, purchasing an annuity or naming Lakeside as a beneficiary in an estate, IRA or life insurance policy.

Lakeside Chautauqua must grow endowment funds in order to achieve its strategic goals and to protect the Chautauqua experience for many more generations. Currently, the endowment totals approximately $3.5 million.

Each year, a percentage of the Lakeside Endowment is drawn on to support the Chautauqua program and many historic buildings.

Approximately $100,000 is dis­persed from the endowment to sup­port the signature Chautauqua pro­gram and the Lakeside experience each fiscal year.

The spending rule for the endow­ment to benefit Lakeside’s operating budget is 4 percent of a 12 quarter trailing average of the fund.

The Lakeside Endowment is man­aged by the Lakeside Chautauqua Foundation Board of Directors. The principle is maintained and invested to create a source of income for Lake­side Chautauqua and the program­ming. These endowment funds have one objective: to support strategic plan goals, not just for one year, or even one generation, but in perpetuity.

Many Lakesiders have made it a priority to protect Lakeside Chautau­qua by planning a deferred endow­ment gift. Today there are 70 Found­ers Society families who have already planned new endowment gifts.

We thank these families for their support. We have to do even more to protect Lakeside; therefore, new en­dowment gifts are essential to sustain­ing the Lakeside mission.

We invite you to join The Endow­ment for Life Initiative. Planning a gift provides major support for Lake­side, while realizing personal philan­thropic and financial goals.

Whether you purchase an annuity or leave Lakeside as a beneficiary in an estate, IRA or life insurance policy, you can benefit in many ways, includ­ing reducing income tax, avoiding capital-gain tax or reducing or elimi­nating state or federal estate taxes.

For more information on how to include Lakeside in your will or estate plans, contact the Lakeside Chautauqua Fountain at (419) 798-5396 or