Investing in People Across Generations

“When I look at the whole process, yes, it is philanthropy and giving, but implicitly it is an investment; we are investing in people,” John and Sue Buckley shared when asked about their annual grantmaking.

Philanthropy can mean many things to many people, but it is often much more than planned giving. It is also an opportunity to pass down your family values and in the case of the Buckleys, an investment in a community that has served them well. John and Sue have a practical but passionate approach to their giving.

Their investment in people also transcends multiple generations. John recalls how his father taught him that you should give back to your community and those around you. Today, the lasting legacy John and Sue have created through their donor advised fund is not only inspired by the lesson learned from John’s father, but as an endowed fund, it will be there in the future to help inspire their daughter. John and Sue are modeling thoughtful philanthropy for their daughter, as John’s father did for him, by demonstrating their values and giving back to the East Tennessee community.

Staying connected to East Tennessee is important to John and Sue. They felt it was an easy decision to endow the fund with East Tennessee Foundation. It allows them to focus on building connections with the various organizations they are highly involved with, while the Foundation stewards the funds. Even though John and Sue spend most of their time outside of our region these days, they recently shared a sweet message with our team of staying true to the wisdom learned from John’s father, “while our bodies may be out-of-state, our giving is still in East Tennessee.”