January 24, 2019
At a certain point in many relationships, the gift-giving gets a bit stale. There are only so many bouquets of flowers or pairs of socks we can give before the charm wears off. It’s why so many people are thinking differently about gift-giving, preferring experiences over things.
The Suender Family of Cherry Hill took an altogether different approach. For their 25th wedding anniversary, John Suender gave his wife Maggie the gift of a donor advised fund at the Community Foundation of New Jersey.
The Suenders were already familiar with the Community Foundation. They had created a fund ten years earlier to, in Maggie’s words, “resist the temptation to go back and spend those dollars on anything else and, instead, set up the ability to give in the future.”
This Suender Family Fund currently gives to a variety of causes, including a small local hospital/health system, a local nonprofit focused on employment and skills development for teens and young adults with autism, as well as the family’s alma maters.
This new fund was something more special.
“John knew I’ve always carried a burden in my heart for those who are hungry,” explained Maggie. “I had volunteered a lot of time at one of the local kitchens where they feed the homeless and the underserved.”
Thus he created the Maggie’s Pantry fund. Maggie is the sole advisor of the fund, which she uses to support local food bank and food pantries.
“I was floored,” said Maggie. “I was absolutely floored and pretty emotional about the gift of this fund.”
Maggie’s Pantry most recently gave to the Food Bank of South Jersey and the Cathedral Kitchen of Camden, where Maggie volunteers. The Suenders regularly contribute into the fund and, with the support of the Community Foundation, ensure its outgoing grantmaking is achieving the greatest possible impact.
Close to Home
The Suenders could have gone anywhere to create their two donor advised funds, but they chose the Community Foundation of New Jersey for its expertise and proximity close to home.
“It’s easy to recommend grants, the Foundation is very responsive, they follow-up with the recipients very promptly, and we’re notified every step of the way,” said Maggie. “They’re also in our state and they’re in our community, and for me that’s important. I know not only where the dollars we’re recommending are going, but also that the other money from other donors is staying in New Jersey.”
It is a pleasure for the Community Foundation of New Jersey to work with John and Maggie Suender on both of their funds, especially as they begin to involve their children in the experience of giving.