Marjorie S. Fisher and Julie Fisher Cummings in 2012
$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
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.
“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
About the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation