What does the Good Shepherd Fund Do?

The Fund acts as trustee of special needs trusts, including “d(4)(C)” special needs trusts, for individuals with developmental disabilities and other related disabilities for beneficiaries living in the Western United States.

The Fund also acts as court-appointed conservator or guardian for the individuals with developmental disabilities in Colorado, California, and Oregon.

The Fund assists families with the estate planning process, particularly planning for special needs trusts for individuals with developmental disabilites.

How you can help

Because you care……about people with developmental disabilities and because you care about the Special Needs Trust and Guardianship ministry of The Good Shepherd Fund, you may be interested in learning more about creating a gift to assist this outreach. Maybe you want to know more about realizing life income from your gift while securing the future of The Good Shepherd Fund. Perhaps you want to know more about funding a Special Needs Trust. Click on one of the buttons to the left to learn more about the benefits that come with creating various types of gifts.

The Good Shepherd Fund has a Trust and Gift Counselor on staff, the Reverend Dr. Ron Beckman, to assist individuals, families and parents in establishing a Special Needs Trust or to assist in the development of current and/or planned gifts. Dr. Beckman is an ordained Lutheran pastor and a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), a credential that requires strict adherence to Accountability Standards and the Donor Bill of Rights. He is a member of the Association of Lutheran Development Executives and has over 20 years of estate and gift planning experience. He is available to assist financial and/or legal advisors to ensure that donor and trustor charitable intentions and objectives are met.

There is no cost or obligation. You may contact him:

Reverend Dr. Ron Beckman, CFRE

How can I Plan Adequately for my Child with Disabilities?

It does take extra care and planning and consultations with one’s attorney to adequately provide for a child with disabilities. An inheritance left directly to the child may disqualify her/him from a host of means-tested government programs. The alternative is a special needs trust which provides income for the ”extras” of life – travel, therapy, or dental expenses for example.


The Good Shepherd Fund has focused, from its beginning, on service to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The Fund was founded as a non-profit organization in 1970. From inception, the Fund has focused on services to individuals with developmental disabilities.

In the early 1980’s the Fund began to act as trustee of special needs trusts for individuals with developmental disabilities. In the mid-1980’s the Fund began its Conservatorship/ Guardianship Program, again serving individuals with developmental disabilities, first in California and later in Oregon and Colorado.