Gary and Sally Kaplan shared partnership of quiet philanthropy—both were presidents of Temple Israel for a time, and Gary worked in the financial field while Sally dedicated herself to social work.

“He was a buttoned-up businessman, but also dedicated to social justice, and he supported many local nonprofits,” Sally said.

At the end of each year, the couple planned out their charitable donations together. Gary orchestrated their contributions with precision, channeling funds to support not just their beloved Temple Israel but also various causes that resonated with their values. To make their giving easy, they set up a Donor Advised Fund at the Omaha Community Foundation.

When Gary passed away, Sally wasn’t sure how to carry on their charitable endeavors alone, but she wanted to continue their legacy of philanthropy, which had been the cornerstone of their life together.

She reached out to the Omaha Community Foundation and met with Nathan Morgan, her Donor Services Advisor. What began as a practical arrangement evolved into a deeply personal and impactful partnership.

Nathan’s role went beyond transactional information; he became Sally’s partner in navigating the often complicated charitable landscape. Their conversations were not just about how Donor Advised Funds operate. They discussed Sally’s values, her empathy, and her commitment to making a difference.

“The thing I love about working with Sally is that she is thoughtful with her philanthropy. She wants to know what is going on in the world and then use that knowledge to make an impact with her personal philanthropy,” Nathan said, “I really like being the resource for her and for all of our fundholders.”

When faced with heartbreaking news of disasters or conflicts, she turns to Nathan for guidance on impactful giving. A recent collaboration involves getting food into a war zone.

“When I watch CNN and see a disaster … I call Nathan and ask him who is on the ground doing the real work,” Sally said. “Nathan’s research and recommendations lead to donations, such as supporting World Kitchen’s efforts to provide food to the starving.”

Their partnership extends beyond financial transactions; it’s about sharing values and making a tangible difference in the world.

“It’s such a huge privilege to be able to donate,” Sally said. “OCF has such a special niche that I can make gifts whenever I want to. Nathan is such a big part of that.”

Her background as a social worker adds a layer of empathy and understanding to her philanthropy. Having witnessed suffering and resilience firsthand, Sally approaches giving not just as a financial transaction but as a deeply personal act of solidarity and compassion.

Sally’s journey reflects the essence of strategic philanthropy—aligning financial resources with values. Her involvement with Temple Israel and the Tri-Faith Initiative exemplifies fusing financial stewardship and social responsibility. Through her Donor Advised Fund and her working partnership with Nathan, she supports not just the operational needs of these organizations but also special projects and initiatives that resonate with her passion for social justice and humanitarian causes.

“I don’t have all the answers, but with the resources and skilled team members here at the Community Foundation, I’m able to get a broader sense of what organizations locally and nationally are working on specific issues in a meaningful way”, Nathan said. “That is our value proposition at OCF. We can provide a level of service that national providers can’t. Sally knows that she can always call me, and I can help her make a grant that makes an impact.”

Sally’s philanthropy journey is a testament to the power of collaboration, empathy, and strategic giving. As Sally and Nathan continue their partnership, they embody the spirit of giving back and making a difference in their community and beyond.