Community Champions

Dr. Mary and Suku Radia have lived their lives in service to the Greater Des Moines community. The couple has spent countless hours volunteering and advocating for area nonprofits, with their generous spirit extending to financial support. “I remember making my first contributions to the United Way of Central Iowa in 1975; I gave $1 a week. As a young man, and with Mary still in school, that was a lot of money to us, but we wanted to start giving,” said Suku. Mary added, “As we became more involved in the community, Suku chaired the United Way campaign twice and visited every supported agency. When you have first-hand experience with local organizations, you want to invest in their success.”

Seeking opportunities to invest in the success of others today and in the future is important to the Radias and made partnering with the Community Foundation the perfect fit. In honor of Mary’s education and career at Des Moines University, the 
Radias wanted to make a gift of stock to support minority students. “As we considered this gift to DMU, I was told by a national provider the transaction would take 10 to 15 days. But because of the professional expertise of the Community Foundation 
and the valuable relationships staff has created with nonprofits, the Community Foundation facilitated the gift in three days. It leveraged opportune moments to sell the stock, thus maximizing our gift,” said Suku.

Additionally, the Radias established a charitable giving fund that endows their future giving to United Way and the Community Foundation to ensure their decades of support will continue for generations. “The Community Foundation has been a great vehicle for our giving. It offers a team of experts and tools that allows you to achieve your goals and objectives effectively,” said Mary.  Suku added, “Since we opened our charitable giving fund in 2008, I have become an advocate for the organization. Thanks to its solid, balanced investment approach, we have given back more over time than we would have ever thought possible.”