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Ideas to Impact Blog

Donor Story: Dennis Kuester

The Bradley Impact Fund was launched in 2013 under the leadership of Dennis Kuester, The Bradley Foundation Board Chairman at the time. Dennis shares his thoughts on a growing community of donors coming into its own.

D Kuester Small“We are losing the battle for freedom from within this country. The most effective way to fight this battle is to fund frontline warriors fighting every day through the organizations they lead. The Impact Fund helps donors target the best and most impactful organizations so they’re able to make the biggest difference they can with their giving.”

Dennis Kuester
Founding Board Chair of the Bradley Impact Fund

 

Q: What was the early vision for the Impact Fund and why was it so important to build this community of donors?

The Board, for a number of years, had been looking for strategies to provide more funding for Bradley Foundation-supported organizations that advance American exceptionalism. We wanted to leverage the Bradley name and the very capable Foundation staff to point out where funding can have the most impact. Eventually we locked onto the idea of creating a donor-advised fund as the appropriate vehicle.

Q: You’ve been an Impact Fund donor since the beginning. What sets the Impact Fund apart from other giving opportunities?

The Impact Fund offers all the advantages of a donor-advised fund—the ability to control the timing of contributions and the ease of distribution—plus the insights of the Foundation into organizations that are making the biggest impact. That knowledge and expertise is invaluable to our donor community. There is the education piece too. The Impact Fund does a great job of presenting events and other opportunities for donors to learn about grant recipient organizations and best practices in strategic philanthropy.

Q: The Impact Fund has seen tremendous growth in recent years. What’s driving this growth, and what are some of the positive impacts beyond the measurable increase in support for American principles and freedoms?

The community is growing rapidly as people realize the battle for freedom is being lost internally, and we need to do something to turn the tide. A growing group of like-minded individuals that support organizations that advance traditional American concepts of freedom and community support can make a difference.

One of the most positive impacts I think has been the creation of this community. Getting like-minded individuals together is not the easiest thing to do. Hosting annual conferences and other events has been an important step to creating that sense of community. It’s growing organically as people continue to gather and talk to each other and invite their family, friends, and colleagues to come to events and ultimately join them in preserving American liberties and values.

Q: What aspect of the Impact Fund are you most proud of?

While providing more funding to well-deserving organizations is important, the aspect of the Impact Fund I am most proud of is that we are supporting a growing community of patriots committed to protecting and restoring freedom and all that is embodied in American exceptionalism. We’re fighting in the best way that we can, through our philanthropic support of organizations that are making a difference.