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Porter Estate Leaves Historic $40 Million to Community Foundation of Broward

September 27, 2012

Mary N. Porter bequest will return millions to community 

Mary N. Porter
(Broward County, Fla. 9-27-12) – The Community Foundation of Broward announced today that it has received the largest gift in its history from the estate of prominent local philanthropist, Mary N. Porter. 
Porter’s historic bequest of more than $40 million will help the Community Foundation of Broward’s efforts to tackle critical local issues.
"This is truly an exciting day for our community," Community Foundation President and CEO, Linda B. Carter said. "Mary’s forethought and generosity will return millions of dollars to the community each year to improve lives and ensure her legacy of caring for others lives on, forever."
Carter said it was a testament to Porter’s trust in the Foundation and love of this community that the Pennsylvania-born world traveler chose to leave her estate here in Broward. 
The gift is the largest in the Foundation’s 28 year history and continues a tradition of philanthropy, which began during the Depression when a young Ms. Porter delivered food and clothing to those in need.  She was also head volunteer at the infant clinic at a Pottstown Hospital, PA., where she helped care for hundreds of newborns and still found time to teach Sunday school every week.
“Born in Pennsylvania, Mary Porter traveled the world, yet it was her Broward home where she chose to leave her remarkable

Mary at age 21
legacy.  She trusted the Community Foundation of Broward to continue fulfill her philanthropic vision and ensure the Porter name lives on forever,” said Foundation Chairman, Richard A. Berkowitz. “The Foundation is committed to ensuring this extraordinary gift supports the causes Mary cared about and her desire for it to inspire others to make our community the best it can be.”
After moving to Fort Lauderdale, Ms. Porter quickly involved herself in efforts to support her new community. She once said, “Giving back is a part of who we are as people. It is not only good, but necessary that those of us who have benefited from our beautiful communities extend our philanthropy to make other lives better.” 

What will her Fund do?
Mary’s bequest will be divided into three separate Funds at the Community Foundation:
  • The first unrestricted Fund created by Mary Porter’s estate supports the Foundation’s role of identifying and addressing pressing needs or challenges within Broward. 
  • The second Fund is the first in Broward County history dedicated to supporting capital projects. 
  • The third Fund allows the Foundation to provide annual support to a number of nonprofits identified by Porter herself, contingent on the Foundation’s confirmation of their adherence to best practices and effective service delivery. 

Contact: Thor Barraclough
About the Community Foundation of Broward
Founded in 1984, the Community Foundation of Broward's mission is to provide leadership on community solutions, and foster philanthropy that connects people who care with causes that matter. A public nonprofit organization with more than 400 Charitable Funds and agency endowments representing $140 million, it has distributed $60 million to support community solutions over the past 28 years. As a community leader, it convenes citizens around critical issues, and builds the capacity of the nonprofit sector to respond to these issues. For more information about the Community Foundation of Broward, visit or call 954.761.9503.

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Broward County Inspiring Philanthropy over 25 years