Scott & Julia Jones [Endowment]
More than 200 years ago, theologian John Wesley wrote, "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." Scott and Julia Jones of Pierre embody and embrace this philosophy.
"While their generosity is well-known throughout the Pierre-Fort Pierre community –their giving extends across the state, and frankly, across the world," said Stephanie Judson, SDCF President & CEO.
The Joneses believe that to whom much is given, much is required. "We try to be good stewards of our time, talents, and treasure," said Scott. "We leverage tax laws to give as much and as efficiently as possible during our lifetime, and we will direct most remaining assets to favorite charities in our estate plan."
Scott and Julia have provided gifts to dozens of nonprofit organizations in recent years, including several six and seven-figure gifts. They are often able to leverage their gifts along with other donors, increasing the impact of their generosity.
In addition to their financial support, both have served in leadership roles on several nonprofit boards. Between the two, they have chaired many fundraising campaigns and often were the lead donor and the lead fundraiser. "We feel fortunate to be in a position to support the work of so many who have made helping others their life's work," said Julia.
Scott serves as CEO of Delta Dental of South Dakota and leads by example. The charitable programs delivered by Delta Dental and the gifts made by the Delta Dental of South Dakota Foundation are a result of the culture that he has created. Ask any of his board members, and they will tell you how his personal commitment to giving back to the community has fostered a business model that encourages others to do the same– board and staff alike. Delta Dental of South Dakota embraces Scott's philosophy and has donated more than $40 million to programs to improve the oral health and overall health of South Dakotans. The company has a generous employee gift matching program and has made contributions in honor of staff and retiring board members. Several have followed this example and have stepped up to make gifts alongside Scott and Julia.
Former Delta Dental of South Dakota Board Member, Dr. Dale Gibson had this to say about the Joneses: "I had the opportunity to serve on the Delta Dental of South Dakota Board of Directors for 33 years, 17 as board chair. Scott's visionary leadership and personal philosophy have fostered a profound commitment to giving back to the communities we serve through our programs and our grant dollars. He and his wife Julia are incredibly generous individuals, and I have personally been inspired by their actions, as have many others on our board."
Julia spent her career as an audiologist, specializing in pediatric care. Her passions include providing care and comfort for pets served by the community's humane society. She and Scott adopt elderly dogs, ensuring their days will be lived in a loving, caring environment. Julia recently retired, allowing her more time to focus on her family, dogs, and volunteer work.
In October 2017, Scott joined the SDCF Board of Directors. "We've been fans of the SDCF for many years," says Scott. "We have great confidence in the staff and board leadership. SDCF is efficient, invests funds wisely and has very reasonable fees."
Judson recalled a discussion with Scott to gage his interest in joining the SDCF board. "It was a visit I will never forget. He very pragmatically and thoughtfully explained his and Julia's philanthropic ambitions, both now and long into the future. As he explained, 'we have many gifts we want to make now, and then we plan to work on legacy gifts.' When asked about when he plans to join Julia in retirement, Scott responded, 'When we have fulfilled our charitable goals.'"
To create their legacy, the SDCF has partnered with the Joneses in managing endowments that will provide grants in perpetuity to causes the Joneses care about. "As Scott moves closer to retirement, we are shifting more of our giving to endowments to enable us to maintain our support of favorite charities post- retirement," said Julia. "When our estate gifts are eventually added to the endowments we establish during our lifetime, they will support our favorite charities forever."
Another excerpt from John Wesley's writings poetically describes the philosophy Scott and Julia embrace in their everyday lives. Wesley wrote, "Use your God-given gifts well and wisely to earn all that you can, that you might practice frugality and save all that you can, that you might have more than enough so that you are able to give all that you can."