The Catholic Church has been a mainstay for the Purdums, who moved frequently.

“We give to the Church because it has played such an important part in our lives as we have moved around the country,” says Dennis Purdum, of Holy Spirit Parish in Creston. “The one common denominator as we went through all of our relocations, was that we could always develop a base with a church in the community we moved into,” he said.

Purdum grew up on a farm in rural southern Iowa. He became Catholic and got married during his senior year of college. Soon after, he and his wife, Connie, moved when he started work at an international accounting firm. Throughout his career, they relocated numerous times. The Purdums started in Oklahoma City and ended up in New York. Through the years, they lived in Omaha, Oklahoma City again, and Houston.

When he retired, Dennis and Connie decided to bring their family back to Iowa, and are now living in Creston. A few years later, Bishop Richard Pates began working to create the Catholic Foundation of Southwest Iowa. When the bishop heard about Purdum’s background in accounting, he approached Purdum about using his professional expertise. Purdum accepted the Bishop’s offer and became a part of the first Board of Directors for the foundation.

Today, he serves as the vice chairman of the board and serves on the Audit/Finance Committee. As a part of the Board of Directors and the Audit/Finance Committee, Purdum attends quarterly meetings and participates in many conference calls. He’s also involved in the foundation through his family’s Donor Advised Fund.

A Donor Advised Fund is a segregated account that an individual or family can use to conveniently grant dollars to a Catholic parish, school, or organization. Dennis and Connie established their fund about three years ago in the hope that they could impact Catholic education positively, along with many other reasons. The couple was surprised with how easy it was to create a Donor Advised Fund.

“Long-term, we knew we wanted a certain amount of our estate to be left for Catholic causes. However, we created the Donor Advised Fund in lieu of a private foundation,” Dennis said. “With a Donor Advised Fund, we avoid legal fees and financial reporting, and we don’t have to worry about the investment of the funds. All we have to worry about is where we want the funds distributed. Another benefit of a Donor Advised Fund, is that it sends a message to our family,” he added. “It shows our children and grandchildren the importance of charitable giving and the causes we want to support.”

To do the same, contact the foundation’s office for more information on ways to give. Call Brooke Pulliam at 515-237-5080 or email her at [email protected]