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The Value of a Gift

Windsor resident Ruth Scheer brings 25 years experience as a grant maker to her role on the Indian River Medical Center Foundation board of directors

Ruth Scheer feels that a community needs assessment could be invigorating for Vero Beach’s giving programs.

Ruth Scheer feels that a community needs assessment could be invigorating for Vero Beach’s giving programs.

Ruth Scheer, a resident of Windsor since 1999, has had a rewarding, longtime career in nonprofit and foundation work in the northeast. She currently serves on the Indian River Medical Center Foundation board of directors as a representative from Windsor.  

After marriage, three children and years of active volunteering, Scheer decided to join the working world. She was employed by a social science research company in the Boston area, Abt Associates, from 1972 until 1980. While there, Scheer managed large-scale projects, evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of federal government programs frequently in the fields of health and education. 
In 1980, the Cabot Corporation in Boston hired Scheer to handle and reshape the giving programs for both the corporation and the Cabot family. 

Scheer says, “I was initially puzzled about being hired in this new field but then realized that my evaluation skills would aid me in determining which non-profits were worthy of support.” 

Recalling a question from the initial hiring process, Scheer says, “My interviewer asked me if I had ever fired someone.  Without hesitation, I answered in the positive. Later, I discovered the real reason for the question. Did I have the guts to say ‘no’ to a potential charitable grant when it was required? Did I have the toughness to deny a grant seeker the money he or she was asking for?”