One Very Generous Couple
Erik and Diane Hoffer make significant naming donation to Charlotte Community Foundation
Initially reluctant to come forward, Erik and Diane Hoffer decided to publicly declare their support of the Charlotte Community Foundation (CCF) in hopes of influencing others to step up.
“I am uncomfortable announcing that we’re giving money to charity, because to me, that seems very private,” said Diane. “On the other hand, if it can inspire people to give as well, in whatever capacity they can, then I’m willing to forego some of my privacy.”
“We’re trying to stimulate others,” Diane added. “We’re just one component in this. We hope other people will want to do something to help our community and recognize the value of doing something.”
For the Hoffers, the gift represents the latest in a long list of generous donations made through their own foundation, the Hoffer Family Foundation.
“Our focus is on the needs in Charlotte County for the most part,” Diane said. “
To acknowledge the significance of this donation, the CCF has named the main building at its complex in Punta Gorda the Charlotte Community Foundation Hoffer Center for Philanthropy. (The headquarters also houses the Virginia B. Andes Training and Education center.)
“You were going to give it away anyway in taxes,” said Diane, “this way you can defer or lower the taxes on that money and support things in your community that make this community what it is.”
CCF has been on the Hoffer’s radar for years and they have given anonymously to a number of the nonprofits the foundation supports. They decided on the unrestricted naming donation recognizing that the CCF is more aware of all the needs in the community.
The Hoffer’s investigated CCF’s organizational and operational model and determined that its methods are designed to achieve maximum results for the highest number of people with the lowest internal costs possible.
CCF will be able to invest that funding and distribute a portion of the earnings annually to various nonprofits while continuing to invest the principal in perpetuity.
A lifetime of service
An innovative inventor and successful entrepreneur, Hoffer created over 20 original product technologies in and around cargo security and authenticity. He holds many patents, including 15 for what he called “tamper evident tape,” which reveals unauthorized access to a protected object, and four others for transportation security products.
Hoffer founded CGM Security Solutions in 1977 to manufacture and market his patented technologies for products that deal basically with deterrents. He has worked with the Department of Defense and operated two factories in New Jersey, where the Hoffers lived for some 20 years.
The Hoffers supported numerous charitable causes in New Jersey and began rescuing abused and neglected German Shepherds in 1992.
“We brought home dogs from our local shelter, took care of them and put them up for adoption,” Diane Hoffer said. “We learned a lot about dog training.”
Lingering effects of nerve damage and illness Hoffer suffered while serving as a sergeant in the U.S. Army in Vietnam necessitated that he move to a warmer climate.
In 2003, two years after they arrived in Florida, Diane joined the Animal Welfare League (AWL) board of directors, and she remained on the board nine years.
“We started re-homing German Shepherds through the AWL 10 years ago,” she said. “We’ve now expanded to shelters from Sarasota down through Collier and Hendry counties.”
The Hoffer Family Foundation founded Southwest Florida German Shepherd Rescue in 2007. Now the largest such rescue in Florida, the program has found homes for nearly 1,000 purebred German Shepherd and about 15 dogs Diane said were “not so purebred, but tremendous three- and four-legged friends.”
The Hoffers, who both have degrees in industrial psychology, have been married 27 years. They established their foundation as a legacy for their daughter Kelly.
“We’re doing all this in conjunction with Kelly, so that once we’re gone, she knows the causes and organizations that are important to us and can rely on CCF to provide her with assistance in managing our estate.”
The recent gift will allow CCF to put more funds into the community in many different avenues, including community initiatives, community investment grants, education initiatives and disaster recovery.
“When we were thinking about making this donation,” said Diane, “I remembered when we were growing up it seemed the government took care a lot these things for people. Now, there are very limited government funds that are distributed to these nonprofits.”
The Hoffers also hope that their naming gift encourages others to consider supporting the community and nonprofits of Charlotte County by giving through CCF.
Donor funds are invested along with CCF’s managed assets. When it comes time for annual scholarships, distributions or grants to be made, donors can rest assured that recipients and nonprofits are closely vetted and monitored. We thank Erik and Diane Hoffer for their investment in Charlotte County and the legacy they have created.
A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. CHARLOTTE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION, INC. REGISTRATION NUMBER: CH 13619.
© 2019 by Charlotte Community Foundation
227 Sullivan Street
Punta Gorda FL 33950