Published On: Fri, May 19th, 2023

Julie Fisher Cummings, Outgoing Board Chair of the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Announces $6 Million Donation in Honor of Her Mother

Julie Fisher Cummings

$1 Million Will Directly Support the Community Foundation’s Scholarship Program; $5 Million to Come from Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation to Benefit Various South Florida and Detroit-Based Organizations

West Palm Beach, FL – Julie Fisher Cummings, outgoing Chair of the Board of Directors for the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, announced today a total of $6 million in donations to various organizations in South Florida and Detroit, Michigan. Cummings’ three-year term on the Board ends June 30, 2023, and her final act of leadership as Chair of the Board of Directors is a personal a tribute to her late mother Marjorie S. Fisher. The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties is a not-for-profit organization that creates partnerships with donors, nonprofits and community members to solve the region’s chronic and emerging issues.

Extending her mother’s philanthropic legacy through the stewardship of funds Mrs. Fisher left when she passed in 2016, Cummings announced $1 million to the Community Foundation’s Scholarship Program to establish the Marjorie S. Fisher Opportunity Fund, which will offer wrap-around services for students heading to college, including coaching and mentoring. Like Cummings, Mrs. Fisher also served on the Board of the Community Foundation when it was founded in 1972. Cummings meanwhile has now served on the Community Foundation Board for a total of 11 years: from 2001 to 2006 and again from 2017 to 2023; she will serve three more as Immediate Past Chair.

“This generous donation to the Community Foundation’s Scholarship Program will allow us to continue in our efforts to ensure deserving students are able to attend college and just as importantly excel while there,” said Lisa Morgan, Board Member and Chair of the Scholarship Committee for the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties. “This will especially help first-generation students, who are the first in their families to attend an institution of higher learning, and often in need of the most support and guidance.”

Additionally, the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation – formed by Cummings’ parents in 1955 with a mission to enrich humanity by strengthening and empowering children and families in need – announced donations of $5 million to various organizations in South Florida and Detroit, Michigan, including:

  • Take Stock in Children, a nonprofit organization in Florida that provides a unique opportunity for deserving, low-income youth to escape the cycle of poverty through education, will receive $500k over five years.
  • The Lord’s Place, a nonprofit which transforms lives by providing solutions that break the cycle of homelessness for the most vulnerable and neglected in Palm Beach County, will receive $600k over five years.
  • An additional $600k per year will benefit Detroit  community organizations, including basic needs support for the Brightmoor community of Detroit, City Year Detroit, College for Creative Studies, and Sphinx Organization.

“The family has been living out Mrs. Fisher’s hopes for bringing them closer together through philanthropy and service,” said Douglas Bitonti Stewart, Executive Director of the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation. “Julie herself is following in her parents’ philanthropic footsteps through her remarkable work with the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, and truly honoring their memory every day.”

“My father believed that all giving should begin where you live. He taught me the power of keeping philanthropy local,” Cummings said. “For me, I am proud to help make a real difference in the lives of those preparing to head to college from their communities right here in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, as well as in the Detroit area, where my father had his own beginnings.”

Under Cummings’ leadership as Chair, the Community Foundation’s total assets under management surpassed $200 million in 2021; the total number of funds held at the Foundation surpassed 500 in 2022; and the total scholarship fund assets surpassed $25 million in 2021. Additionally, total contributions for 2021 to 2023 are at $66.92 million as of March 31, 2023, and total grants for that time period are at $44.75 million as of March 31, 2023. The Community Foundation also celebrated its 50th anniversary during Cummings’ tenure, conducted a strategic planning process, adopted a five-year strategic plan, and began the first fiscal year of its implementation. The Foundation also hired a new President & CEO, Danita R. DeHaney. Finally, the Community Foundation led the local COVID-19 pandemic response and raised significant emergency resources following Hurricanes Dorian and Ian.

“Julie is truly a game-changing leader with a passion for philanthropy. She has had an incredible influence on furthering both the Community Foundation’s mission and our impact in the community,” said DeHaney. “This gift to the Community Foundation’s Scholarship Program mirrors what Mrs. Fisher did through her personal giving and caps a tenure that ensures our scholarship recipients will receive the extra support they need to succeed in college.”

About the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties 

The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties is a nonprofit organization that leads philanthropy locally. The foundation provides charitable expertise and vehicles to increase the investment options on behalf of individuals, family foundations, and corporations. Since 1972, the foundation has distributed over $200 million in grants and scholarships aimed at closing the area’s opportunity gaps. With its vast network of donors and nonprofit partners, the foundation supports initiatives that improve youth and education, economic opportunity, thriving communities, and crisis preparation and response. Learn more at https://yourcommunityfoundation.org.  

About the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation

The Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation’s core philosophy is grounded in the beliefs of our founders and the family’s shared Jewish values that life’s purpose is found in service to others. The mission of the Foundation is to enrich humanity by strengthening and empowering children and families in need. In the Jewish tradition of tzedakah, the Foundation works to repair the world (tikkun olam) alongside those who share our mission. Learn more at https://mmfisher.org.

The Late Marjorie S. Fisher and Julie Fisher Cummings

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