(June 9, 2021) There are about as many stories about how our donors came to the Community Foundation as there are donors. Pooja and Kush Shah—who, respectively, serve on our Board of Governors and Strengthening Nonprofits committee—got involved with the Community Foundation by joining GiVE 365 in 2011. Pooja served on its Advisory Team for several years, as well as its grant review and events committees.
Pooja, FedEx Freight IT chief of staff, and Kush, owner of marketing and printing business directFX, opened a donor-advised fund at the Community Foundation in 2015. They have a thoughtful giving philosophy and are enthusiastically committed to contributing to our city. “The Community Foundation helped us deepen our knowledge base and formalize a strategic plan to giving,” says Pooja. “Through the Community Foundation, we realized a fund doesn’t have to be just a financial transaction; it can actually make a transformational difference over time.”
In addition to numerous volunteer leadership commitments, the two and their family are active supporters of several nonprofits across the city. In November 2020, Pooja and Kush won the Crystal Award for Outstanding Emerging Philanthropist, bestowed by the Memphis chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, for their leadership.
The couple have instilled values of generosity and service in their school-age children, volunteering with them and thinking deliberately about involving their family in their personal philanthropic strategy. Pooja says, “We knew we wanted to chart an intentional path to giving in addition to our in-the-moment giving, and we knew we wanted that investment to be in Memphis once we decided to raise our children here.”
Watch the video below to see more about how the Community Foundation is helping shape the Shahs’ philanthropic journey.
Excerpted from the 2021 Community Foundation Annual Report