The estate of Harriet and Locke Macomber, lifelong residents of Des Moines, Iowa, has donated $45 million to eight local nonprofits they had supported throughout their lifetime.
The endowments were facilitated by the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, a nonprofit that connects donors to causes they care about. The estate gift was the largest in the foundation’s 50-year history, they announced Monday.
The organizations benefiting from the donation are The BWA Foundation, the Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines Symphony, Drake University Law School, Orchard Place, United Way of Central Iowa, St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, and the YMCA of Greater Des Moines.
“The legacy of Harriet and Locke’s philanthropic efforts have one common element; they loved Des Moines and were committed to making it a better place to live,” Maestro Joseph Giunta, music director of the Des Moines Symphony, said in a statement. “We are all beneficiaries of their gifts as will be future generations.”
Harriet and Locke Macomber both came from prominent Iowa families and served on many of the boards of directors of the benefiting organizations. The couple married in 1954, but had no children. Locke died in 1998, and Harriet in 2020.
“Upon Harriet’s passing in 2020, our community lost not only a committed volunteer but an intentional and strategic charitable spirit. Her careful planning and astute investing ensured her impact would continue,” the organization said in a release Monday.
A spokesperson for the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines declined to comment on how much each benefiting organization will receive.
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