Our Stories

Four Reasons Families Give Through the Community Foundation

(Above: Forsyth fundholders the Johnsons, Jordans, Susongs and James Casto with our Director of Fundholder Experience Britt Ramroop)

What prompts people to give through us? Why do they create family foundations through us? How do we help guide them on their journey of generosity? (hint: it has a lot to do with our Director of Fundholder Experience). Here’s why four families chose to open donor advised funds and used them to create family foundations. 


Scott and Deana Jordan, Jordan Family Charitable Giving Fund

“Although our family has been supporting various charitable organizations for a while, we were doing this without much design or purpose. We thought that a donor advised fund/family foundation would allow us the opportunity to design a more tax efficient and purposeful giving strategy in life and beyond. Additionally, we wanted to establish a foundation (no pun intended) for our children to build upon in supporting our neighbors.

“We knew that the Community Foundation had a highly visible and leading role in addressing such challenges as homelessness, food insecurity, etc. in Gwinnett County for years (where Scott works) and was expanding its reach into Forsyth County (where we reside). Supporting the communities in which we live and work was at the forefront of our decision to establish our donor advised fund with the Community Foundation.”  

“We want to encourage others to learn more about the Community Foundation and its great work. Even as financial professionals, we were admittedly ignorant that a donor advised fund could start out relatively small and build in its impact over time. For years, we thought that foundations, DAFs, etc. weren’t approachable for families of our age, income level, etc. Without the education and encouragement of the Community Foundation’s incredible team led by Randy Redner and the board, we may not have taken this life-changing step.” 

Scott and Deana Jordan and their girls


Ray and Cathy Nelmes, Nine Elms Foundation

“When we hear of something we’d like to donate to, we just ask Britt, the Community Foundation’s director of fundholder experience, to make it happen and she does. If there’s an area we’re interested in but don’t know much about, she will research that area and get back to us with suggestions.

“We love that when we have an idea and ask Britt she’ll say ‘Well, that’s a great area you’re considering and I have a recommendation or two that might be a better fit for your giving’. That’s just a wonderful service we’re receiving from the Community Foundation. We really like that they know the nonprofits, check their credentials and are careful about where donations go. We also love that we are giving to many local organizations. It just really makes sense to give through the Community Foundation.”

Britt, our director of fundholder experience, with fundholders Cathy and Ray Nelmes

“Britt was actively involved in the establishment of our donor advised fund and has been actively engaged ever since. She has always been a very gracious and accessible resource for our family. We’re grateful to have her and the other Community Foundation team members shepherding us on this journey.” Scott and Deana Jordan

Ernie and Cheryl Johnson, Love You Too Foundation

“Most people are already giving in some way. The Community Foundation simplifies thing and provides a more focused way of giving.  They make the paperwork around giving easier, vet foundations for 501(c)3 status and make it possible to review the record of giving through the years in one place. Plus, you can have a collective impact when needs arise and choose to be part of a group giving through the Community Foundation.

“On a very practical basis, we always knew we wanted to create a foundation but didn’t want the administrative duties. The Community Foundation takes care of that for us.”

Fundholders Ernie and Cheryl Johnson

John and Jacqueline Susong – Susong Family Fund

“Having a donor advised fund allows fundholders to have a timeline for more thoughtful giving. They always have the option to park their money there with great tax benefits until they figure out where they really want to make their contribution. Plus, it’s been really constructive [for us] to be able to evaluate so many different nonprofit organizations. We can avoid that reservation, that feeling of being rushed into making a donation before year end.”

Fundholders John and Jacqueline Susong

 Are you interested in learning more about donor advised funds and family foundations or other ways to give through the Community Foundation? Contact Randy Redner at 770-813-8834 or rredner@cfneg.org.














  1.     Why did you decide to create a family foundation and what do you want it to accomplish? Tell me a little bit about the process behind this decision.