Alison and Tom Hannan Estate gift grows Samara Fund for Vermont’s LGBTQ+ communities

The Vermont Community Foundation and its Samara Fund are delighted to recognize Alison Hannan for her generosity in naming both organizations as primary beneficiaries of her estate. Alison and her husband Tom were residents of Guilford since 1969. The Foundation received $350,000 in total, half of which will be credited to the Samara Fund’s Our Work is Not Done campaign to grow the endowment and annual grantmaking.

“It is the foresight of people who love Vermont, like Alison and Tom, to include charitable giving in their estate plans that helps power the work of the Community Foundation,” says Dan Smith, president and CEO of the Vermont Community Foundation. “For Samara, this bequest grows the only fund in Vermont dedicated to supporting the well-being and empowerment of all queer and other LGBTQ+ Vermonters, a fund we’re proud to have as a part of the Vermont Community Foundation family.”

Samara is an LGBTQ+ community-directed fund that helps ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) Vermonters are connected, healthy, appreciated, safe, and empowered. Samara relies on bequests and donations to provide grants to nonprofit organizations that benefit LGBTQ+ communities and scholarships to Vermont students to attend college or training.

At the request of Alison and Tom, the Community Foundation will dedicate the additional $175,000 to expand cultural, humanitarian, and esthetic opportunities, as well as medical research across Vermont, with particular interest in Windham County.

Tom, a modernist graphic artist and jazz fan, specialized in designing LP covers, including at least one for a Miles Davis recording. Alison worked as editor at Time Life in New York. Tom passed away in 2000, and Alison passed in 2019. They valued privacy, solitude, and the pastoral landscape that surrounded their home. They are remembered by neighbor and friend Richard Wizansky for their wisdom, vision, and generosity.

“As the Co-Chair of Samara’s Our Work is Not Done campaign, I am deeply moved that this gift expands Samara’s capacity to meet the immediate and long-term needs of Vermont’s LGBTQ+ communities, which have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic,” says Richard Wizansky, member of the Samara Fund committee.

Alison and Tom worked with the Vermont Community Foundation to simplify their estate planning and assure that their will benefited causes they were passionate about in perpetuity. To learn more about estate planning and planned gifts at the Community Foundation, please contact Jane Kimble at [email protected] or 802-388-3355 ext. 286. For more information on the Samara Fund, a component fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, visit


The Vermont Community Foundation inspires giving and brings people and resources together to make a difference in Vermont. A family of hundreds of funds and foundations, we provide the advice, investment vehicles, and back-office expertise that make it easy for the people who care about Vermont to find and fund the causes they love.