PHP’s new endowment fund receives first donation

Staff Report

People Helping People has received the first gift to its endowment fund through an agreement with John and Michele Kuelbs of Solvang for a deferred gift of $450,000 designated exclusively for PHP’s endowment.

The donation will be made upon the couple’s deaths.

“The endowment provides the opportunity for community members to make a legacy gift that will have a positive impact on those less fortunate for many years to come.  The endowment is designed to use investment income to support programs and preserve its principle,” said Lorraine Neenan, president of the PHP board.

In 2015, the PHP board decided to establish an endowment fund as part of their strategic planning process. In early 2016, the board established endowment and investment policies. Later that year, PHP began promoting the benefits of donations to the endowment to select donors.

According to Neenan and Becky Barieau, PHP’s treasurer, the board felt that it was time for PHP to create a funding mechanism that could sustain the successful community organization’s critical basic needs services for a future generation.

“PHP can assist families to design a gift to charity that will realize their philanthropic objectives while providing for the needs of their family and minimizing current and future taxes. In some cases, such a gift can result in an increase in the value of a donor’s current income and estate,” Barieau said.

“Since we moved to the Santa Ynez Valley, we have taken a deeper interest in what needs exist here in our own backyard. We did our due diligence and found that PHP was the go-to organization here to help those in need, and they did it effectively and at low cost,” the Kuelbs said.

“We started off by donating to programs at PHP and felt that the dollars were well spent. This year we decided that we wanted to have a greater impact on the organization’s future and we chose to contribute to their endowment. This gift will pay dividends to PHP and the valley community for years to come and, somewhat selfishly, it benefitted our family with very significant tax savings,” they added.

“We hope that the gift made by this couple is an example that others in the community will follow,” said PHP CEO Dean Palius. “The endowment is a way of guaranteeing that PHP will be here in the future when individuals and families need assistance.”

People Helping People is a 501 c-3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of men, women and children in the Santa Ynez Valley, Los Alamos and surrounding areas by addressing emergency and basic needs and furnishing comprehensive integrated family and individual support services.

To learn more about PHP programs, go to or call 686-0295.

For more information about PHP’s endowment, call Palius at 686-0295, ext. 108, or e-mail him at