During his career as an optical engineer, James Seeser worked with light. Today he is a beacon of charitable light in the St. Louis community, thanks to the 200 philanthropic initiatives funded over the last 10 years through the Seeser Family Fund, a donor advised fund administered by the St. Louis Community Foundation.
When Jim, his wife Judy, and son Adrian considered formalizing their charitable activities, they initially wanted to create a foundation, but found it to be complicated and expensive. “We need lawyers, a board of directors, and special tax returns,” Jim said. “Frankly, I wanted as much money as possible to be directed to good works, not to supporting our charitable-giving apparatus.”
That’s when Jim was referred to the St. Louis Community Foundation. “This organization does 90 percent of what an independent foundation could do, at a fraction of the cost,” he said. “They set up an approach designed specifically for me and my family, and they are a resource for us as we contribute to causes and activities we’re passionate about.”
Jim also gives his son discretion to make recommendations on charitable initiatives that are meaningful to him. “He and his family will eventually take control of the fund,” said Jim. “It’s important that he understands the process and the responsibilities, and the people at the Community Foundation have helped both of us.”
St. Louis Community Foundation
#2 Oak Knoll Park, St. Louis, MO 63105
tel 314-588-8200, fax 314-588-8088