The Bull Family Fund

The Bull Family Fund is one of The Community Foundation’s most active donor-advised funds, having awarded more than $376,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations and programs in both Herkimer and Oneida counties.

“Our family has always believed that we should give back to the community in which we make a living,” said fund advisor Larry Bull. “When The Community Foundation established donor-advised funds, we knew that using this tool was one way we could accomplish that goal.”

The Bull Family Fund has made 48 grants to benefit a diverse group of programs and organizations that work to address a broad spectrum of community needs in areas of education, healthcare, the arts, and human services.

Working with Community Foundation staff to assess nonprofit needs, advisors like Bull have an active role in creating a more vibrant community.

“Making grants with the assistance of The Community Foundation staff has guided our attention to opportunities we wouldn’t have been aware of without their help,” said Bull. “The ability to partner our grants with funds from other donors allows us to make a greater impact in the community.”

Bull values the flexibility afforded by a donor-advised fund, allowing the family to recommend grants as organizations’ needs arise instead of having their philanthropic investments driven by that year’s market outcomes.

“Many times, the smallest grants have the greatest impact because they mean so much to the organization and the community receiving that grant,” said Bull. “In some instances, the programs we have funded were in crises and may not have continued without our help at that critical time.”

A grant made to the Women’s Employment & Resource Center highlights this impact. When the funding opportunity was presented to the advisors of The Bull Family Fund, the organization was experiencing a short-term gap in funding that threatened to halt programming. Recognizing the importance of the organization’s intensive writing and business skills classes that prepare participants for employment and promotion, Bull stepped up to the challenge. The Bull Family Fund partnered with Bull’s Fastrac Markets entity to provide the funding needed to keep the
program running.

Larry Bull is a past-chair of The Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees and remains engaged with the organization through The Bull Family Fund.