Working With Professional Advisors: Susan Bloom’s Story
Susan Bloom was an intensely private person whose generosity benefitted many in her Salt Spring Island community and beyond – from conservation of important wildlife habitat on the British Columbian coast to the redwood forests of California, along with conservancy work worldwide – the impact she made will span generations. The anonymity of her donations meant that few fully know the breadth of support she gave.
Long-time friend, assistant and now trustee, Jan Theunisz, shared, “Susan was passionate about the environment, along with other things. She was a humanitarian and practiced philanthropy throughout her lifetime. She did things anonymously, locally and internationally, and believed strongly in grassroots organizing to help small groups of passionate people do extraordinary things.”
Susan was passionate about many issues, especially environmental protection. She made significant contributions to support her Salt Spring Island community, including the arts, water preservation, conservancy land acquisitions and the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation. She also donated Clayoquot Island Preserve, off the west coast, to The Nature Conservancy of Canada, where it is destined to return to its original, wild state.
A Lasting Legacy
While Susan may not be with us anymore, her intentions and motivations are being carried out through a donor advised fund with the Victoria Foundation. This is an option for individuals and families to engage others in their philanthropy both during and after their lifetime.
“While she did not become a Canadian citizen, she was certainly a Canadian in terms of her values: an honorary Canadian.” — Mark Horne, trustee
By creating a donor advised fund with the Victoria Foundation, Susan’s ability to do good extends beyond her lifetime. Mark Horne of the law firm Horne Coupar, a long-time friend, advisor, and now executor and trustee of her estate, explained, “In Susan’s case, the donor advised fund is the elegant solution. You can realize your objectives without the headaches and hassles of administering their implementation — eliminating concerns about who will be in charge of the investments while stewarding them over the long haul.” Before passing, Susan created the Cereus Fund to continue supporting the causes she believed in. Susan’s fund is named for the cereus cactus, which, much like herself, is notable for its penchant for privacy. It blooms annually for one night only, providing a glimpse of its beauty at sunset that fades before sunrise.