Scott and Allison Christopher established their unrestricted endowment in late 2021 in support of PCF grantmaking.
After Scott joined the Pasadena Community Foundation Board of Trustees in January 2020, an event occurred that reinforced his decision to lend additional support to the foundation: the Covid-19 pandemic. Scott tells us “My wife, Allison, and I were impressed with the agility and adaptability of PCF to shift so quickly to raise funds and support nonprofits in Pasadena that were addressing this crisis. The ability of PCF to reach out quickly to the community and determine who needed funding and make grants inspired us.”
Giving Back Throughout a Career
Scott grew up in Los Angeles, eventually graduating from UC Santa Barbara with degrees in economics and sociology. Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government was his next stop, where he earned a master’s degree in public policy. Back in California, he merged his background in public policy with a career in finance, specializing in structuring and underwriting municipal bond issues for public agencies like school districts.
During this time, Scott met Allison, an East Coast native who started her career in California as a securities research analyst. The couple married in 1989 and soon had two children, a son and a daughter. In 1997, they moved to Southern California to settle in La Canada Flintridge as Scott changed careers to become a private banker. Allison has dedicated her time to raising the children into adulthood and volunteering at their children’s school, Polytechnic in Pasadena, and other community organizations.
Scott’s career has focused on helping successful families with investment management, financial planning, and advising them on philanthropy. He has also lent his time to Polytechnic, where he was a member of the board of trustees and chair of the investment committee. He is still active on that committee 22 years later.
A Passion for Education
The couple also invests time and resources into the Warren Christopher Scholars, a program that creates a pathway to college for underserved students in Los Angeles Unified School District. The scholarship program – named for Scott’s father, who was a well-known diplomat and Secretary of State under President Clinton – is administered by the California Community Foundation and supports 15 students each year. This experience has positioned Scott well during his time with PCF, where his expertise in scholarship programs proved helpful to the development and ongoing review of both the PCF Scholars and the Petersen Scholars programs.
It did not take Scott and Allison long to decide that they wanted to create a source of permanent support for their own Pasadena-area community. Their unrestricted PCF endowment was created in 2021. Creating a source of flexible support was important to the couple, Allison tells us. “We think that PCF is amazing in understanding the needs of the community. We like knowing that our endowment helps to secure the long-term future of PCF and keeps the foundation agile and responsive in its grantmaking.”
The Power of Endowment
Endowments are the cornerstone of PCF’s mission to build hometown legacies. The corpus of each endowed fund is invested with PCF’s portfolio for long-term growth. Each year, the endowments generate the funds that support PCF’s local grantmaking, which enriches the arts community, protects our environment, provides health care and critical social services, and bolsters public education in Pasadena. Endowments are permanent legacies for our community; these funds will continue to grow and provide philanthropic support forever.
Created November 2021