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Saying THANK YOU to James Shattuck

James H. Shattuck

I never knew James Shattuck … but he changed my life. He also changed CFPA and Connecticut's landscape.  He helped grow trails, forests, and parks.  You, and I, are the beneficiaries of that change.

How did he make that change you might ask?

It was by being thoughtful and planning for good to happen after he took his last hike and saw his last sunset. In June, 2006, CFPA received a gift of $435,036.50 from Mr. Shattuck’s estate. In addition, CFPA received distributions over ten years from his Charitable Lead Trust totaling $225,518.  This and his other gifts exceeded $662,000.

CFPA benefitted from two types of planned gifts. The first was a distribution from a trust - similar to the more common bequest from an estate. The second was a more sophisticated planned gift, a Charitable Lead Trust, which paid a fixed amount for a fixed period of time. A group of charities benefited from the trust and at the end of the period his family received the principal. He protected his family’s interest and also helped the non-profits he valued.

James Shattuck’s generosity and careful planned giving were key sources of funds, and motivation, to grow CFPA into the organization it is today.

I write this because his careful planning is a positive model for supporters of CFPA – like you!

When the large distribution was made to CFPA, we were taken by surprise. At that time, there was one, part time development professional. The board decided that a portion of the Shattuck gift would be invested in expanding the development area. The rest is history -  the Association hired a full time Development Director and soon after we hired a Membership Director. Mr. Shattuck’s gift gave me a unique opportunity to work as CFPA's Development Director and serve the conservation community.

The decision to focus on development allowed CFPA to survive the economic crisis of 2008 – 2009 and grow the staff to ten full and part time professionals. I must also note that two later planned gifts were also cShattuck Text Box2.jpgritical to CFPA’s growth. The first was Prudence Cutler’s $250,000 gift to fund Land Conservation efforts and an anonymous $250,000 gift to fund the Volunteer Coordinator position. 

When the final accounting for the Charitable Lead Trust was held in the Madison Probate Court earlier this year, I attended the hearing in the hope of saying “thank you” to someone in the family. I was fortunate to meet his son Jape, who later wrote to me, "The other “Jim” believed that some of the resources at his disposal could do much good in the hands of the [CFPA].His purpose was definitely not recognition. But the time and effort you expended to say “thank you” would have told him that an important goal had been achieved, one that will yield enduring benefits to many others.”

Throughout CFPA’s history, key people have stepped up and made a difference for the Association and Connecticut. James Shattuck was one of those important role models. To be successful, we must inspire others like James Shattuck to make a difference with important planned gifts.

To learn more about the different types of Planned Gifts you can make, go to  http://www.ctwoodlands.org/giving/planned-and-legacy-gifts