When Richard Male turned 76 on July 26, his family presented him with a special surprise: In honor of his life and deep legacy as an activist, educator, mentor, and nonprofit leader, they had established a donor-advised fund at The Denver Foundation. Named for Rich and his father, the Richard & Seymour Social Change Fund had already generated more than $40,000 in donations from people across the United States.
“He was shocked, even speechless,” says Evelyn Lifsey, Rich’s wife of 36 years. “Rich has always wanted to be able to give money away in his father’s name, and this fund will enable him to support so many causes he is passionate about: people with disabilities, homelessness, animal welfare, hunger and sustainability to name a few.”
The fund will support grassroots organizations devoted to creating social change, which has been the focus of Rich’s life and work for more than 50 years.
In Colorado alone, Rich founded the Community Resource Center, the Colorado Nonprofit Association (now with more than 1,700 members), and the Colorado Coalition to Save Rural America. He helped form Community Shares of Colorado, which has over 120 member non-profit organizations. Rich also organized the Colorado Committee for Responsive Philanthropy and organized Golden Brick Road, the first organization dedicated to serving people experiencing homelessness in Denver.
Rich was deeply involved with the effort to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act. He developed grassroots leadership and organized ADAPT, the power organization behind the development of the ADA.
Rich has supported nonprofit leaders and organizations in countries around the world including Ethiopia, Kenya, Botswana, and Mongolia. As an educator, he has nurtured hundreds of students at Regis University, the University of Denver, and others. Rich’s roster of mentees includes executives and leaders of many nonprofit organizations including the Colorado Nonprofit Organization, the Bonfils Stanton Foundation, the Chinook Fund, and The Denver Foundation, to name a few.
“It would be impossible to capture all of the organizations he helped build and grow, all of the leaders he mentored, and all of the impacts he has had on people and missions near and far,” says Evelyn.
Grantmaking through the Richard & Seymour Social Change Fund will be a family affair, with Rich leading daughters Sarah and Juliadele and sons Abraham and Daniel through a process of deciding how and where to invest resources. The first round of grants will be made in early 2022.
Donations to the Richard & Seymour Social Change Fund may be made online and/or via transfers of cash or stock. Donations by check can be mailed to:
The Denver Foundation
1009 Grant Street
Denver, Colorado 80203
Be sure to note “Richard & Seymour Male Social Change Fund” in the memo.
Please contact Collin Hiew, Engaged Philanthropy Officer, with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.