Clark Joan Portrait Cropped Website 800

A Foundation of Joy

Article Type: Life Stories

How Clark and Joan Donnell Rediscovered the Joy of Family Giving

“I wasn’t feeling the reward anymore.” That’s how Joan Donnell recalls the work running her family’s foundation. “Actually, some bitterness had grown,” she recalls.

“It got complicated,” adds her husband, Clark.

It wasn’t always this way. “At first, it was really fun because we got to see ministries blessed with these gifts we were able to give,” says Joan. “Over the years, however, it got to be a huge burden.”

As the family’s foundation treasurer, Joan was coordinating board grant recommendations, writing checks and collecting receipts. “We were giving to over 40 organizations every year,” says Joan.

“And that’s overwhelming.”

Reaching her breaking point, Joan decided to speak with her dad, who had set up the foundation. “I told him it was just too much work,” she says, “that we either had to hire somebody, or figure out a different way to do this.”

That’s when the family reached out to Barnabas Foundation and learned about the Stewards Fund (donor-advised fund). “It was the perfect solution!” she exclaims.

The Stewards Fund provides Joan’s family a streamlined solution for supporting all their favorite charities without the time or hassles of managing a family foundation.

“It’s so easy,” Joan emphasizes. “Once you set up your Stewards Fund account online and add the ministries you want to support, you just click the button. Then the checks get sent!”

Clark and Joan have tremendous confidence in Barnabas Foundation’s ability to steward their gifts well. “We can trust the gifts will be given in a biblical manner, and the investments are going to be handled wisely for us,” says Joan.

Now the joy of giving is back for Clark and Joan. “It’s more rewarding now,” Joan say. “We can give with joyful hearts!”

Clark and Joan are still accomplishing the work of their family’s foundation. “We want the money to really further the name of Jesus Christ and the Gospel,” they say.

And now it’s fun again.