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Case Study

Shaping a Family's Legacy

An established foundation had been in existence for nearly two decades when it approached Bob Kelly for help. The husband and wife who started the foundation had passed away, and their assets were transferred to the foundation. The foundation, which had only one employee, was presented with the challenge of meeting significantly higher distribution requirements than it had in the past, and the board wasn’t sure how to go about it.

The BK team worked with the board to identify three areas of focus that were special to the founders and put together a plan of action for each one. BK developed grant guidelines, built a website, established an online application system, solicited grants, conducted site visits, reviewed applications, and put together a complete package of recommendations for the board.

In one year, the BK team facilitated more than $4 million in grants to community organizations, both locally and around the country – even some internationally. BK helped balance the giving portfolio so the three focus areas were prioritized equally, true to the founders’ vision.

After grants were awarded, the BK team continued following up with grantees to make sure they were on track to achieve deliverables and reported to the board on their progress. Going above and beyond, BK helped individual grantees develop sustainability plans, strategic plans and fundraising plans to ensure the organizations’ long-term success.


Bob and team continue to support the foundation as a trusted partner on an ongoing basis, instilling the principles that effective grantmaking must be inspirational, practical and sustainable. With BK’s help, the family’s philanthropic legacy will continue to flourish for years to come.

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