Suzanne C. and Charles L. Bond Family Fund
Chuck Bond's philosophy in life is simple: "Love God, serve people."
These four words have been a constant refrain throughout his life, winding their way through his career at Goodrich, his family and his marriage.
Now, they've become the driving force behind his new fund at Akron Community Foundation.
Through the Suzanne C. & Charles L. Bond Family Fund, Chuck is supporting organizations that embody his core values and those of his late wife, Suzy.
According to Chuck, Suzy was a devoted church member and volunteer who was passionate about "sharing God's love" with people in the University Park neighborhood. "As an elementary school teacher, her focus was on young kids that need God's love through caring people," Chuck said. "It was important to her to help children in that way, (particularly those) in disadvantaged neighborhoods."
After Suzy passed away from leukemia in January 2010, Chuck decided the best way to continue her legacy of giving back to the community was through a donor-advised fund.
"We had talked about it, and I knew that was what she would have wanted to do, so I did it – we did it," he said.
A foundation for everyone
"We always thought of foundations as being for really wealthy people," Chuck said.
But then, acquaintances of theirs set up a family fund at the foundation, and their perspective changed. "That showed us that people of modest means can set up a fund to carry on their values, too," he said.
Every year, Chuck plans to continue building his fund with gifts from his trust account. After he passes away, his children and grandchildren will then use it to give back to the causes he and his wife cared about, sharing their love of philanthropy and community with a new generation.
"The fund gives my grandchildren a chance to see something wider, beyond them," Chuck said. And because he chose a donor-advised fund, those future advisors will be able to make grants to any nonprofit at any time, allowing them to meet emerging needs that may not have existed during Chuck and Suzy's lifetime.
"It's broad enough to help meet new needs, so they're not locked in to where we are right now," he said.
The Bonds' greatest philanthropic passion is to create strong families and strong communities. Through their fund, Chuck said he hopes to help people, particularly residents of University Park, become "happier, more productive families."
Grants to the YMCA, their church, and their alma maters – Capital University and Trinity Seminary – will help make the Bonds' goal a reality, even beyond their lifetimes.
"(A donor-advised fund) is a neat way to support organizations that reflect your values," Chuck said. "There is such a wide range of needs, and if you care about the community that you live and worked in, you can find a way to support it."