Wendy Moeller is an inaugural member of the L'Enfant Legacy Society, which recognizes donors who designate the APA Foundation as a beneficiary in their estate plans. In this Donor Spotlight, Moeller discusses why her family made the commitment to include the APA Foundation in their estate planning.
Why do you support the APA Foundation?
I support the APA Foundation because I have received so much support throughout my own planning career, and it is important to me to pay it forward.
While I was in college, I received scholarships that made a significant difference in my ability to continue my studies, so I know the power of financial assistance to planning students. When I received a scholarship as a student at University of Cincinnati, I was also proud to know I had the support of fellow planners.
Three years ago, I was part of a Community Planning Assistance Team project in North Beach, Maryland. The CPAT experience was so rewarding professionally; being able to see other communities and learn about their challenges and solutions builds my knowledge base and makes me a better planner. The format of these projects and the assemblage of volunteers who make up a CPAT team made for a unique experience and has led to lasting professional relationships with other planners.
As a sole proprietor of a consulting business, I regularly travel to small communities that don't have a professional planner, so I know first-hand the need communities have for strategic and technical planning services. Community assistance, like the disaster recovery projects supported by the APA Foundation, is a way to offer planning services to communities that can't otherwise afford it.
What about the APA Foundation's mission resonates with you?
When I decide where I'm going to donate, what I'm looking for is where I know the money is going to make some kind of impact, and where a good portion of what I give is going to benefit the profession.
In addition to the positive effect that scholarships and community assistance projects have had on my personal career, I think it's important not to overlook research. A lot of the research process is looking for strategic and financial partners to support projects. But without a broad research agenda for the profession a whole, academics, researchers, and funding partners don't have a blueprint for prioritizing funding of these projects. The APA Foundation research initiative, FutureShape, is developing this agenda and will help stakeholders identify the true needs of the profession and communities now and in the future.
Why should planners consider the APA Foundation in their annual giving and through their estate planning?
The APA Foundation complements the work of APA. While APA provides members with resources and education needed to address today's challenges, the Foundation invests in initiatives that will position planners to respond to future issues. The Foundation's mission is particularly focused on reaching underserved people and communities, which will ensure the profession and communities will be more accessible and inclusive.
My family is fortunate in our position and ability to plan for our retirement and beyond. We are thinking longer term about what the future looks like for not just our own kids, but all generations.
We asked ourselves, "What are the things beyond our immediate family concerns that we want to provide for?"
As a planner, I recognize the impact that planners can have on communities and individuals' quality of life. Much like the forward-looking work of the APA Foundation, supporting the Foundation through our estate planning is a way to have an impact on planners and communities well into the future.
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Top image: L'Enfant Legacy Society donor pins.
About the Author
Wendy Moeller, FAICP
Wendy Moeller is principal and owner at Compass Point Planning and currently serves as the Region IV director on the APA Board of Directors. Previously, she was senior planner at McBride Dale Clarion. She earned a bachelor's degree in Urban Planning at the University of Cincinnati. In addition to numerous volunteer roles at APA, she served as president of APA's Ohio Chapter. Moeller also served Goshen Township as a zoning commissioner from 2004–2007.