Santa Fe Community Foundation receives largest gift in its history

Historic gift from the late Deborah & Martin Fishbein will benefit the arts, environment, and animal welfare

The Santa Fe Community Foundation is pleased to announce it has received an estate gift worth more than $8.5 million from the late Deborah and Martin Fishbein. The gift is the largest donation in the foundation’s 42-year history.

“This historic gift is a testament to Deborah and Martin’s extraordinary generosity, their love of Santa Fe, and commitment to our community’s future,” said Christopher Goett, president & CEO of the Santa Fe Community Foundation. “We are humbled by the opportunity to honor their legacy, which will live on and benefit our region for generations to come.”

In keeping with the Fishbein’s charitable intent, the estate gift will support local nonprofits working to improve outcomes in the areas of arts and culture, animal welfare, and environment through the foundation’s community grants program and provide an opportunity for multi-year funding in certain instances. The gift will also establish two agency funds, administered by the foundation, for the Institute of American Indian Arts and the Museum of International Folk Art.

“Debby and Marty fell in love with Santa Fe’s incredible art scene when they first visited in 1982,” said Gary Kaplan, surviving brother of Deborah Fishbein. “This is a wonderful way to carry out their charitable wishes and benefit the community here.”

Santa Fe was the Fishbein’s second home for decades. The couple, who traveled extensively and enjoyed a shared interest in collecting fine art, folk art, and Native pottery, spent every summer and winter in the City Different following Martin’s academic schedule. He was an acclaimed social scientist and professor at the Annenberg School for Communication in Philadelphia, a position he held from 1997 until his death in 2009. Deborah carried out their longtime retirement plans, moving to Santa Fe permanently in 2018. She passed away at her home in 2020.

“This is a beautiful example of the power of planned giving,” said Deborah Holloway, board chair. “This transformative gift will support the foundation’s capacity to meet the needs of our community, year after year, forever.”

The Santa Fe Community Foundation manages over 500 charitable funds and is the largest nonprofit funder in New Mexico. Thanks to the generosity of its donors, the foundation has awarded over $130 million in grants since its inception in 1981.

Feb 9, 2023
News & Stories

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