Watch this 3-minute video to learn about our past, and read further below for more information.
Capstone Legacy Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) Christian community foundation dedicated to the preservation of donor intent.
We provide planned giving solutions to donors and tax-exempt status for charities across the United States.
Our dedication to establishing your legacy comes from the depth of our own Pennsylvania roots. Although Capstone was organized in 2005, our financial and spiritual legacy stems from one of America’s oldest industrial firms—the Lukens Steel Company—founded in 1810. Operating through a succession of family owners, Lukens achieved a number of "firsts" and "bests" over the years:
- In 1818 the mill produced boilerplate for the first iron-hulled vessel made in the United States.
- In 1825 the firm became the first steel company run by a female CEO—Rebecca Lukens. A devout Quaker, she saved her company from bankruptcy and exported boilerplate to England for some of the earliest locomotives ever built.
- Lukens eventually operated the largest rolling mill of its type in the country, and produced the largest steel plates (204 inches) in the world.
- Lukens supplied specialty steel USS Nautilus—America’s first nuclear submarine.
- Lukens provided steel to construct the main beams of the World Trade Center. These pieces were so well made that large sections survived the building's September 11, 2001 collapse intact.
Although as a non-profit community foundation, Capstone bears little physical resemblance to Lukens’ industrial operations, we exist as a direct result of that original steel making fortune, and the long-term thinking of the original family.
In 1957 Charles Lukens Huston Jr. and Ruth Huston formed the non-profit Huston Foundation in recognition of their parents’ Quaker/ Presbyterian Evangelical Christian beliefs.
While Charles was running the steel business, his sister Ruth used her money for missionary work in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky. Riding through dangerous mountain passes and fording swollen streams on horseback, she taught Bible courses to children in the region. Ruth also used her monetary inheritance to boost the Huston Foundation’s ability to fund good works.
Charles Huston's daughter Nancy Huston Hansen was deeply inspired by her father's example as a businessman and her aunt Ruth's example as a Christian missionary.
Working at the Huston Foundation as a philanthropist, Nancy also served as a Lukens Corporation board member from 1985 through 1995. While executing that office, she took the unique approach of enlisting help from Christian prayer partners gifted in the office of intercession. Whenever Lukens’ board was in session, Nancy’s friends would sit in the next room praying for guidance in the executive headquarters. Coincidently (or "providentially" depending on your point of view) Lukens became a Wall Street darling in the late 1980s when the company won a series of very large government contracts.
A decade after the Huston family sold their private interest in Lukens Steel, Nancy formed Capstone Legacy foundation as way of continuing her ancestors' 200-year tradition of blending industrial vigor with Christian service.
As a non-profit community foundation, Capstone's financial legacy in the specialty steel business informs our approach to charitable work and long-term gift planning today.
Considering all this, if you want flexible, scrappy, outside-the-box thinking, if you want to work with a community foundation small enough to make your size meaningfully important, or if there’s a ministry project close to your heart that others have failed to embrace, consider working with us.
This 200+ year perspective inspires our efforts to ensure that we help your giving echo into eternity.