A Grandmother’s Gift of Generational Giving

Dec 14, 2022

Pictured above: Through a grant from The Banyan Tree Fund, mothers can attend Mercy Learning Center’s literacy and life skills classes while their children participate in early-childhood learning.

Dr. Ida Davidoff, pictured with her husband Leo, continues to make an impact for Fairfield County women through her legacy of planned giving.

Ida Fisher Davidoff may not have seen herself as a visionary philanthropist.

But when she decided to make a planned gift and join FCCF’s Future Society more than two decades ago, Davidoff guaranteed that her generosity would improve the lives of Fairfield County women for generations to come.

“Paying it forward was very much a part of our grandmother’s legacy,” said Ida’s grandson, David Houts. “She was the daughter of immigrants, and my grandfather immigrated to America when he was a child. They both had the good fortune of receiving charitable support during extraordinary challenges, and together, they were able to create a wonderful life and become an example of wanting to pass that good fortune on to others.”

Davidoff established The Banyan Tree Fund through her will in 1999. The Fund — a donor-advised fund at the Community Foundation — supports the education and economic advancement of women and children. Its most recent grant supported Mercy Learning Center, a Bridgeport nonprofit that provides literacy and life skills training to help women achieve their dreams.

“Grandma felt strongly about supporting women and furthering their lives in a way that if they’re struggling to get started in life, to make sure that we’re giving those women a hand-up.”

Nina Bixler
granddaughter of ida fisher Davidoff

Davidoff’s passion for advancing and elevating women is also wrapped in another layer of her legacy: To give her family a reason to stay actively in touch. She designated the youngest grandchild of each of her children to serve as the Fund’s advisers, creating both a reason and a common purpose for her extended family to keep in touch and stay connected.

“There’s the impact you’re having on society, and on a familial level, you can also have a positive impact on your own family members by involving your future generations,” Bixler said. “We want people to know that the spirit of somebody can live on through their donations and to encourage others to offer a legacy of this type to keep generations both in touch with each other and continue family philanthropy.”

For more information on becoming a member of FCCF’s Future Society, please contact Joseph Collin, Vice President of Philanthropy, at JCollin@FCCFoundation.org.

Join a group of visionary philanthropists: FCCFoundation.org/Future