Allie and Mark Divine establish endowment fund to support JFCS NextGen
Couple supports NextGen’s mission to get young adults involved with volunteering and service
Allie and Mark Divine recently created an endowment fund at JFCS to support its NextGen program. The two have been involved with the program for many years and Allie is the former NextGen Board president. By establishing an Endowment Fund, Allie and Mark are being recognized through the It’s Your Legacy program, in partnership with Life and Legacy of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. While young adults are not the typical demographic who establish endowments at JFCS, Allie recently spoke about why she and Mark felt it was important to create this fund at this point in their lives.
How did you first get involved with NextGen?
After college, we were both looking for ways to meet new people and become engaged in the Jewish community. My friend, Jaclyn, was the first NextGen Board President and encouraged me to attend events and join the NextGen Board. Mark first got involved through the NextGen kickball team, which led to him attending social and volunteer events. Being the president of NextGen was a really important moment in my life and solidified Mark’s and my interest and support of NextGen, and the pivotal role it plays in our community.
What sorts of JFCS programs and NextGen events have been meaningful to you?
We both love NextGen’s recent shift from focusing on social events to now standing more for carrying out JFCS’ mission of service and community, but through a young professional lens. It has been incredible to see the number of NextGen members attending the Annual Benefit grow every year. The program that stands out the most for us was “An Evening with Julia Dinsmore,” where we learned about her struggle experiencing homelessness, and how she has used her experiences to educate others. It was a great way to meet new people and learn about service in our community.
You two started an endowment fund at JFCS when you got married. Our NextGen participants aren’t usually the demographic that creates funds or endowments. What made starting a fund right for you at such a young age?
While we didn’t meet through NextGen, the program was a very important part of our relationship before we got married. At the time, I was the NextGen President and Mark had been really passionate about how to connect and motivate Jewish young professionals in our community. When we got married, we wanted to ensure that the amazing NextGen program continued on for years to come and that others would be able to have the opportunities we have had through NextGen.
We both saw NextGen as a way to teach our next generation about volunteerism and the great services that JFCS provided, in an engaging, social environment. JFCS did a great job making the establishment of a fund an achievable goal. We connected with the Development department and collaborated on the best way to use the money for the fund. We hope that it continues to grow and is helpful in moving NextGen’s mission forward today, and into the future.