Northfield Shares, a community foundation centered on philanthropy, volunteerism and collaborative leadership, announced that it will receive a significant one-time gift from community member Robert (Bob) Will through the Robert and Barbara Will Family Foundation. This endowed donor-advised fund is to be gifted to and managed by Northfield Shares at Bob Will’s death. The intent is that the gift be directed towards providing an annual gift of four percent of the corpus to All Saints Episcopal Church in Northfield. Specifically, the funds will be directed towards supporting the church’s music program, which the Will family greatly enjoyed.
“All Saints means so much because we voluntarily selected it as our church,” said Bob Will. “The stress on tradition and history as well as faith, ritual, ecumenism and openness to all attracted Barbara and me. Its small size encourages a strong sense of community.”
Over the years, Bob and his late wife, Barbara, remained active in the church in many ways—Barbara taught Sunday School and was a Kitchen Angel and Bob began as Treasurer and ended as co-chair of the Building Renewal Committee, guiding the 2013-2014 addition.
Craig Ellingboe, Northfield Shares board of directors chair, said, “Bob Will embodies the spirit of giving. He and Barbara have shared their time, talents and money over the years in ways that continue to make Northfield a good place to live. This donor-advised fund is an example of a gift that will keep on giving according to the intent of the donors in perpetuity. Northfield Shares is happy to be a partner with them in that kind of philanthropy – this is a true example of joyful generosity.”
As a result of the Will family’s deep involvement in All Saints Episcopal Church, their wish is to continue serving and supporting the church after death. Upon the passing of Jonathan Will, Bob and Barbara’s son, his memorials provided for the historic lighting in the nave. Additionally, Barbara’s memorial funds helped to improve the church kitchen, an area in which she delighted to spend time planning and preparing for special events.
When asked about the donation, Bob said, “We are following in the footsteps of others who have given generously to a community that has meant so much to them. I hope that others will join in, so they can receive the great joy of giving.”
Northfield Shares is a Northfield area nonprofit founded to advance philanthropy, inspire volunteerism and promote collaborative leadership. The organization was formed when 5th Bridge and Northfield Area Foundation merged.