IHEU receives largest-ever gift

  • post Type / Growth and Development
  • Date / 28 May 2009

IHEU has received a gift of more than US$2.5 million from the estate of the late Victor Kay, a longtime Humanist who lived in Los Angeles, California. The bequest is the largest individual gift in IHEU’s 57-year history. “This is a transformative, momentum-building gift that demonstrates real leadership on behalf of Mr. Kay,” said Sonja Eggerickx, president of the IHEU. “IHEU is extremely grateful, as this underwrites our efforts as the leader in Humanism around the globe.”

The bequest, to be known as the “Victor Kay Humanitarian Fund”, is a trust fund to be treated as the IHEU’s other endowment funds. Income from the Fund will be available to support IHEU in all of its mission and general operations, starting in 2010.

“Ultimately, endowments are more enduring than even bricks and mortar,” said Eggerickx. “This is an exciting gift for the IHEU, which touches the lives of all of our members. Gifts from Mr. Kay and other generous donors help us to pilot programmes, provide more activities and take advantage of important opportunities that otherwise couldn’t be realized. We hope others will be inspired to contribute to the IHEU’s continuing efforts to build a more humane and rational world.”

The International Humanist and Ethical Union is the world union of over 100 Humanist, rationalist, secular, ethical culture, atheist and freethought organizations from more than 40 countries. As a democratic federation of national groups, IHEU facilitates the activities of its member organizations, fosters the growth of new Humanist groups, and represents the interests of Humanists at the United Nations and other international forums.

Headquartered in London, UK and incorporated in the United States, IHEU has expanded rapidly in recent years. Its membership has more than doubled in the past two decades, with many new national groups forming in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. IHEU now employs programme directors in India, Nigeria, Uganda and the United States.

For more information contact Matt Cherry at or on +1 518 632 1040.

Biography of Victor Kay (updated)
Submitted by admin on 15 June, 2009 – 09:00.

Victor Kay was an American humanist who lived most of his life in New York City, where he worked as an accountant. After his retirement in the late 1980s, Victor and his wife Eleanore moved to the community of Laguna Woods, in Orange County, California.

Victor Kay was the president of the Humanist Community of Laguna Woods Area, a local chapter of the American Humanist Association (AHA). He was in touch with both the AHA and the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) offices until not long before his death. He died on 27 February 2006 at the age of 86. His wife Eleanore had died in 1993. They had no children.

Victor Kay left the majority of his estate to IHEU, establishing the “Victor Kay Humanitarian Fund” with a bequest of over $2.5 million. The income from a trust fund to be treated as the IHEU’s other endowment funds, the “Victor Kay Humanitarian Fund” will be available to support IHEU in all of its mission and general operations, starting in 2010.

Victor Kay’s will, leaving most of his estate to IHEU, was originally made in 1962, making him one of the IHEU’s oldest supporters.

We plan to publish a longer appreciation in a future edition of International Humanist News.

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