With Estate Gift, Couple Ensures Everyone has a Place at the Table


Mark and Charlie have always known they share similar values. They’re both consultants with backgrounds in philanthropy. They’ve traveled extensively and have seen the devastating impact of hunger in Africa and other parts of the world. They are intentional about the meals they make so they waste very little. They both care deeply about food equity and the environment; thus, they volunteer their time to Second Harvest Heartland, among other nonprofits, often. 

Yet, they weren’t fully aware of how similar their financial values were until just six years ago when their church required them to participate in a couples’ assessment before they were married.

“The assessment involved taking a series of surveys to find areas of potential conflict that might require counseling,” Charlie explained. “The financial survey found our values around money to be so in synch, we didn’t require any conversation at all in that area.”

It’s no surprise then, that when it came time to sell the ownership of their business, there was no bickering, debating or “sleeping on” what to do with the significant profit they had made.   

“We asked ourselves, do we keep all the money and retire early, or do we give away half or all of it,” Mark said. “What is our responsibility to our humanity? It was really an easy decision. We decided to give it away.”

Charlie believes he inherited his generous spirit from his mother, a philanthropist and activist her entire life, who taught him about gratitude and giving back to his community.

“Her favorite quote was ‘If not us, who? If not now, when?’” and I try to live by that sentiment. My mother was so thrilled when Mark and I were able to get married. She always felt everyone should have a place at the table.”

She also believed, as Mark and Charlie do, that hunger is a solvable problem. It’s why they’ve given away so much of their fortune to charity. And why they made Second Harvest Heartland the beneficiary of their estate. 

“In this country, there is no reason why anyone should be hungry,” Mark said. “Society just has to say, ‘enough is enough.’”

What do you want your legacy to be?

Planned gifts reflect and extend your value of helping others and leave a powerful legacy. Like Mark and Charlie, you can make a difference with your estate plan. Learn more.