Planning for the Future
Meaningful support helps eliminate uncertainty
After 33 years in the high-pressure, male-dominated world of asset management, Nancy Crouse decided she wanted to do something to put it politely more fulfilling. A senior vice president and portfolio manager for Nuveen Asset Management/Santa Barbara Asset Management, she moved to Santa Barbara from Philadelphia in 2010. By 2016, with her two kids grown and no longer married, she decided to retire.
Nancy hoped to be able to use her financial skills and MBA to help a non-profit organization perhaps the symphony or art museum. She had no idea WEV even existed until she was invited to an event at the Impact Hub where WEV's Founder, Marsha Bailey, was on a panel with two other women speaking about leadership and mentorship. A few days later, Nancy called to introduce herself and the two met for coffee. By fall 2016, Nancy had joined WEV's board and a year later, became treasurer and chair of the finance committee.
"One of the things I enjoy most about serving on WEV's board," Nancy says, "is the joy of feeling I'm helping an organization that is helping women business owners and being able to meet them and support their businesses." Nancy also appreciates the stimulation of interacting with her colleagues on the board, WEV's staff, and learning about non-profit finance.
Nancy's deep knowledge of finance and asset management, not to speak of her unruffled demeanor, has been a huge asset to WEV's Endowment Committee, helping to guide investment decisions to ensure WEV's future sustainability.
When WEV set a goal to increase its endowment, Nancy was one of the first to step up, making a bequest to ensure that her support continues long into the future. One of the first things she realized about non-profit finance is that cash flow can be extremely unpredictable. "Having an endowment helps eliminate that uncertainty and ensures that we can maintain a consistent level of service. For any organization to be effectively managed over time, there needs to be a long-term vision programs need to be revised and expanded to meet changing and emerging needs. An endowment enables WEV to successfully meet those challenges."
"It was very easy to do," she said. "I had a fairly simple estate plan and my attorney advised me that he could simply add a memorandum to my will, documenting the amount I wanted to give." She chose a figure she's comfortable with even if she lives to 95. "If I want to change the amount in the future, I can." Nancy has spoken to both of her children about her gift and they are supportive and understanding.
Nancy is proud of her association with WEV and the work she's done on our behalf. She feels privileged to be able to support WEV in such a meaningful way. The feeling is mutual.