Warren/Soden/Hopkins Family Foundation:
Creating a Family Foundation
Published August 2007
California trial attorney and Pinnacle Society member Bob Warren never imagined creating a foundation to make gifts to the American Diabetes Association. “Our family has always given to charity, but I’m not very wealthy, just a well-compensated lawyer,” he says.
“Then my accountant explained that I could give away more money—and over a longer period of time—if I created a family foundation. Was he ever right!”
Since 1994, the Warren/Soden/Hopkins Family Foundation has donated in excess of $1 million to charities, including more than $264,000 in support of the American Diabetes Association’s Research Foundation. Currently, money from the Foundation supports the American Diabetes Association Islet Cell Initiative to fund cutting-edge research for a cure. Warren’s daughter-in-law, Carol Ann, a nurse, has lived with type 1 diabetes for nearly 30 years.
“When we started the foundation in the early 1990s, we turned to Carol Ann’s physician, Dr. Kathleen Wishner, for advice on the best way of giving to the diabetes field,” says Warren. “She helped us to look at the research being sponsored by Association, and we’ve been involved ever since.” Dr. Wishner later served as president of the American Diabetes Association.
“Giving to the Association through the Foundation has been immensely satisfying, and it has allowed us to immerse ourselves in the most promising medical investigations. We’ve met Association-funded researchers and followed their progress closely. It’s been very exciting.”
Warren is determined to convince others to establish similar giving vehicles. “Many people are intimidated by the idea of creating a foundation. They think it’s a complicated process. Not so.”
“With a foundation or donor-advised fund, he says, you can give more to charities and less to the government, and you can stretch your giving out rather than make an outright gift of cash all at once.”