As the daughter of a U.S. diplomat, Farida Fotouhi lived all over the world – from being in the first American diplomatic family in Hiroshima after World War II to residing in Brazil and Nigeria. She found a world traveler and kindred spirit in Michael Freehling, her husband of 30 years.

“The wonderful thing about an international life is that you get to experience so many cultures,” said Farida. “But now our roots are in Los Angeles, so we want to help people here. And the California Community Foundation helps us do that by curating that journey.”

Farida and Michael joined the California Community Foundation’s Centennial Legacy Campaign because they want to leave L.A., and the world, a better place. They turned to CCF because they trust the foundation to turn their generosity into a lasting legacy. “We want our gifts to last in perpetuity, and CCF has all the capabilities to do the due diligence and manage the fund after we’re gone,” said Michael.

Farida and Michael are passionate advocates for education and equal opportunity, interested in organizations like Grameen America, which provides micro-loans to low-income women entrepreneurs. They support CCF’s focus on systemic change and believe the adage that teaching a man to fish – instead of just giving him a fish – is the most effective way to create change.

The Centennial Legacy Campaign celebrates CCF’s first 100 years by ensuring members can make an impact throughout the next century and beyond. It encourages donors to use part of their estate to create a permanent gift to Los Angeles. Our development team works with them and their families to develop customized giving plans based on their interests. CCF then ensures their funds continue to uphold their intentions and transform lives long after the donors have passed on. To date, 109 generous donors have joined the campaign, committing approximately $130 million to create a better future for L.A.

“We’ve been so fortunate. We’ve worked hard, accumulated some money and want to see that money go to people who really need it,” said Farida. “The fact that we won’t be here forever is what makes us so passionate. We want to continue to give and to contribute to our community after we’re gone.”

To learn how you can make a permanent impact on Los Angeles, visit

2015-2016 Annual Report