A Legacy that Spans Generations

F. Lynn Holec
F. Lynn Holec standing in the Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle

F. Lynn Holec has been a donor to the Smithsonian for more than 25 years, first joining the Friends of the Smithsonian in 1996. Last summer she established the Lynn Holec Legacy Matching Fund to support the Smithsonian Legacy Challenge, which matched new bequests or beneficiary designation gifts with up to 10% cash now—a powerful way to double the impact of one’s philanthropy.

Thanks to her gift, the Smithsonian received 175 bequests in commemoration of Smithsonian’s 175th birthday. That translates to $83 million in expectancies with matching gifts of $1.3 million cash going to 23 museums and research centers.

“The advantage of making this gift now and having the opportunity to match other people’s contributions is that I actually see the benefits, as opposed to my inheritance, which only comes to fruition after I am gone,” Holec said. “It’s fun to see exactly what other people focus on and to leverage my donation by encouraging others to give.”

The first matched gift was from a donor to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), a place Holec visited in 2016. “Since my retirement, I have become more aware of the research at the Smithsonian,” she said. “I always appreciated the museums, but I did not comprehend the extensiveness of the research.”

Holec is a retired principal with the consulting firm ITR LLC. Before that, she worked for the U.S. Departments of the Treasury and Commerce.

“What led me to the Smithsonian for my legacy is that the institution will be here for a long time,” she said. “Scientists want to do research here, and curators want to work at the museums. It’s the people. It’s the culture. It’s wonderful to see a percentage of your legacy go to something that you cherish now.”

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