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Who We Are & What We Do


  • To help those in need

  • To teach others about the power of fundraising

  • To use micro-grants, sponsorships, in-kind services, and collaborations with nonprofit organizations and community groups to open up opportunities for those in need to improve their tomorrows

A summary of the highlights of Susan's nearly 50-year career  can be viewed here.

How to Apply

Please Reach Out to Us if you:

  • wish to receive fill-in-the-gaps medical assistance,

  • apply for micro-grants, or

  • participate in the fundraising mentoring program

  • are a non-profit organization that wishes to apply for  grants to support community service programs

About the Fund


The Living Legacy Fund was established to carry on Susan Jean Murphy Evans 's passion for helping those in need.


During a career spanning nearly 50 years (see Susan's Career and Plaudits & Praise) she not only helped abused women and children, the disabled and homeless, and those in heart-wrenching poverty, but inspired others to do so as well, and empowered governing boards, executive directors, staff, volunteers, and donors to set ever higher goals to do more to help more people.

The way in which Susan inspired others was one of her greatest strengths.


She injected optimism and compassion when the staff with whom she worked became emotionally drained by the suffering they saw day after day and discouraged because of the overwhelming need that they never could hope to address.

Susan liked to hire young, enthusiastic staff and recruit interns who were willing to work hard, hungry to learn, and not limited by the blinders of things that had been tried, had failed, and (supposedly) could not be done.

Top notch experts and specialists in direct mail, heart-tugging copy writing, planned giving, capital campaigns, and governance were brought in as consultants, but never hired as staff.

Susan became a mentor to the staff and interns she recruited, instilling her passion, teaching fundraising skills, and inspiring many to  pursue careers of their own as directors of development and fundraisers.

The ripples Susan created throughout her life with her compassion for people in need, social work, and fundraising, have radiated out, touching so many, improving and enhancing their lives, many of whom in turn have created ripples of their own, touching others, with more and more ripples radiating out to improve more and more lives.

That is one of Susan's most enduring legacies.


To focus less on fixing a problem today than investing in a person's future to provide the initial means ... and a hand up ... along with the  impetuous and encouragement, to improve their tomorrows.

Read what Susan's friends, staff, and employers said about how she influenced the lives around her for the better and how, as a sportive and ever encouraging boss, she served as mentor which shaped careers and futures.

Ways to Help

There are many ways in which you can help. You can:

  • volunteer

  • be a sponsor or mentor

  • provide in-kind support

  • Tell those in need about our micro-grants and fill-in-the-gaps services
  • make a donation

For more information, please

Reach Out to Us

About the Fund
Teaching the power of fundraising

The Living Legacy Fund's

Areas of Focus


The thing that Susan most wanted to do in the last few years of her life was to set up training and guest lecture seminars for young professionals and college-age students.


This, to create ever more expanding ripples to touch more lives.


She wanted to focus most on the young professionals and students who were going to pursue careers in social work, public service, and other professions that touch the lives of the needy on a daily basis. In Susan's experience, very few people in these professions had a grasp or appreciation of fundraising.


Many, in fact, were afraid of asking for money and found the thought of doing so demeaning. This greatly handicapped the success of the organizations of which they were a part, since the number of services and amount of help that an organization can provide is dependent entirely on the resources it has available.

But Susan was not able to fulfill that desire before she passed away.

A mentor helps those who want to learn about fundraising
What Susan Most Wanted to Do
Teaching a skill (cooking) instead of just providing a handout

The Power of Micro-Grants


Susan's other insight, which she came to realize late in her career, was the power of micro-grants.

She became a strong believer in the ancient proverb:

"Give a person a fish and they eat for a day, but teach a person to fish and they can eat for a lifetime."

Susan saw great success in how in-kind services coupled with a micro-grant of $500, $1,000, or $1,500 could change lives.

For example:

One woman she helped was able to feed her family only because of food stamps, but the food stamps always ran out before the end of the month. The woman had limited cooking skills and time between all of the jobs she worked, so only fed her family cheap, highly processed, nutritionally-lacking  meals, with Top Ramen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner being a standard.

Susan asked an apartment rental company for $1,000 to buy spices, a spice rack, staples, and cooking utensils. She also asked the company to have its maintenance crew put up the spice rack and fix cabinets and plumbing issues in the woman's public housing unit. Susan then asked a restaurant in one of the rental company's buildings to teach basic cooking skills and give the woman its  leftover food.

Six months later, the woman not only had stopped using food stamps, and moved into a better apartment, but a health clinic visit showed that her children were both physically and mentally healthier. The woman also had a new job, as a sous chef, with a steady income and living wage, in the restaurant which had provided its leftover food and taught her basic cooking skills.


This, with just $1,000 and a few in-kind services.

Her gym membership was  made possible by a micro-grant
Power of Micro-Grants
Stepping up out of poverty with a new skill and a job

The Programs We Support


Thus, the Legacy Fund's two primary areas of focus are:

​1. Setting up a fundraising mentoring program in cooperation with the University of Virginia's (UVA's) Madison House, with expansion to other colleges and universities at a later date, and

2. Providing micro-grants help those in need on an individual, case-by-case basis to fill in the gaps in existing health, nutrition, housing, and employment programs.

Three other areas of focus are:

3. In cooperation with UVA Health, supporting family-member counseling to address the mental health and stress challenges that occur during the progression of a loved one's Parkinson's disease,  

4. In cooperation with UVA Health, supporting the "Susan Evans Patient Assistance Fund” to improve access to health care by providing fill-in-the-gaps services, such as transportation to medical appointments; in-home medical  equipment, mental health counseling, and more; and

5. Supporting community-focused non-profit organization programs.

The Legacy Fund's geographic areas of focus are those in which Susan worked.


The first of these is the Charlottesville, Virginia area, where the the Living Legacy Fund is collaborating with the University of Virginia's (UVA's) Madison House to launch the fundraising mentoring program, which will be offered to 3,000 student volunteers per year,  and UVA Health to provide gap funding for medical, health, and counseling services.

Second, is the Washington, DC area, where similar programs will be carried out in collaboration with the city's colleges and universities, medical facilities, and nonprofit groups.

Third and fourth are South Florida and the five boroughs of New York City.

Sponsor and volunteers who help the handicapped
Program Area of Focus
Geographic Areas of Focus
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