Shining Her Light on Generosity
Whoever first thought to thank a generous donor for the gifts of her “time, talent, and treasure” surely had someone like Chris Ann Bachtel in mind. Ask the many nonprofits she has helped, and they will tell you that Chris Ann’s dedication to philanthropy is both a personal and professional commitment.
In her work as a Certified Trust and Financial Adviser and an Accredited Asset Management Specialist, Chris Ann has been in a position throughout her career to help clients find ways to leave a legacy through philanthropy. Though she works for a bank, she is quick to point out that she is not a banker, but rather a trust officer. When the field began to incorporate technology, Chris Ann had opportunities to test new software for planned gift illustrations for attorneys and other trust officers. Dubbed as a good planned giving committee member, she started being asked to serve on nonprofit boards, and she now usually serves on two to three boards at a time, which she loves. “I get to associate with wonderful people—brilliant, professional people with enormous hearts.”
She recalls that her mother could not pass a Salvation Army kettle without putting money into it—even if it was the last fifteen cents she had. Mostly what she had to give was her time. Years later, when Chris Ann was invited to serve on the board of The Salvation Army Del Oro Division, she made the connection to those early lessons in giving. The list of nonprofit organizations benefitting from Chris Ann’s service is long and includes—in addition to The Salvation Army—Sutter Medical Center Foundation, the Marguerite Home Foundation (serving indigent women in Sacramento), and the Crocker Art Museum. According to the Crocker’s Lial Jones, Chris Ann is “a cheerleader, a doer, and a champion.”
A past director for BloodSource, Chris Ann does not hesitate to roll up her sleeves—literally—and give. “I love knowing that a teaspoon from my blood donation has saved an infant’s life, or my platelet donation helped save a burn or cancer victim, or at least made one day of their life easier.”
Chris Ann is also a founding member of the Philanthropic Advisors’ Forum, which works to spread the word about philanthropy to attorneys, financial and wealth advisors, CPAs, and other professionals who work directly with clients. Because of this, she already had a long association with the Foundation by the time she established the Chris Ann Bachtel Foundation in 2014. Her initial goal in opening a legacy fund was to ensure that the organizations and causes she cared about—animals, social services, and Catholic charities—would receive meaningful support after her lifetime. Later, she decided that she would enjoy giving through the Foundation now, and she activated the Chris Ann Bachtel Foundation as a donor advised fund with an initial gift of stock. Giving to charitable causes, she says, “has been the single most rewarding experience life has offered me.”
Chris Ann was honored as the 2016 recipient of the Foundation’s Don Poole Award for her significant contributions to the growth of philanthropy in the region. She is the fifth to receive the honor, which is awarded to advisors in the region who most embody the spirit of attorney Don Poole. Fortunately, that spirit includes humor. When asked to share her philosophy of giving, Chris Ann—in true form— turns to Dr. Seuss: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.”
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