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Porter Braden Fund
By Jean Cohoon / April 2, 2018 /   Loading Disqus...

Through her estate plan, the late Lachlan Porter Braden made a significant gift to the Catholic Communal Fund in New York City that established a donor advised fund. For nearly 20 years, her son, Dr. William Braden, served as the fund’s advisor.

But in 2017, officials at Catholic Communal Fund contacted Bill to tell him the organization was closing and recommended he close the donor advised fund. Instead, he opted to transfer the fund to the Rhode Island Foundation where he intends to continue to support some of the charities his parents supported and also pursue his own charitable interests.

His mother, he says, “was an interesting woman. She developed an interest in art and was a painter. We have her works all over our house. She never really settled on a style. She painted realistic still life, landscapes, and modern works.”

The organizations Lachlan supported were largely in the greater New York City area where she lived, with many affiliated with the Catholic Church. “They (his parents) definitely were connected with the Church, and my mother was probably more spiritual than we knew,” Bill relates.

Bill’s interests include educational institutions and micro-lending organizations. “I prefer to think of these grants as investments, something to give people a leg up,” he explains, while also noting the importance of people’s basic needs being met. “You can’t educate a person if you haven’t fed them.”

Bill grew up in New York City and earned his medical degree at Harvard University. A board-certified psychiatrist, he came to Rhode Island in 1974 when he joined the staff of Butler Hospital; he now is in private practice in Providence.

Of his decision to transfer his mother’s fund to the Foundation, he says, “I like the idea of something closer to home. This just seems natural. I want to be strategic in my grantmaking and invest in programs that have an enduring value. I’d like to gain some familiarity with the projects I’m thinking of supporting, so that I give the money wisely. I know the Foundation can help me with that.”

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