Staff Blogger: Josh Hilgenberg, Advancements/Communications Intern

Hoover Auditorium - CopyThe Endowment for Life Initiative was launched in 2012. Its goal is to raise the endowment to $12 million by 2023 and emphasize deferred giving – pledging an endowment gift or naming Lakeside as a beneficiary in an estate, IRA or life insurance policy.

As it stands now, the endowment sits at $5.5 million, a good start, but clearly there is work to be done in the next seven years if we want to hit our goal.

This may seem like a fair amount, but it’s not representative of a 143-year old organization with programming in four Chautauqua pillars and historic structures averaging 80 years old.

Much of the reason why these buildings still stand is because of the endowment. Finances are drawn from it to perform maintenance, upkeep and repairs when necessary.

Hotel Lakeside, Hoover Auditorium and almost every other building on the grounds are held up with these funds.

The performances that are held in Hoover, the lectures that echo in Chautauqua Hall and Orchestra Hall  these, along with many other programming events, are able to happen because of the endowment.

It may not seem to affect us, but imagine Lakeside without all these things. In order to keep the endowment flourishing, the Lakeside Chautauqua Board of Directors manages, maintains and invests in the endowment, creating income and growth. These endowment funds have one objective: to support strategic plan goals, not just for one year, or even one generation, but forever.

Thankfully, many Lakesiders have recognized the necessity of an endowment, and have made deferred gifts as a result. We thank these families for their kindness, devotion and thoughtfulness.

You can help. We invite you to join The Endowment for Life Initiative and provide for the next generations.

Planning a gift provides major support for Lakeside, while realizing personal philanthropic and financial goals.

Whether you leave Lakeside as a beneficiary in an estate, IRA or life insurance policy, you can benefit in many ways, including reduced income tax, avoiding capital-gain tax or reducing or eliminating state or federal estate taxes.

For more information on how to include Lakeside in your will or estate plans, contact the Lakeside Chautauqua Foundation at (419) 798-5396 or