Donor Stories

The Value of Education

Rashmi Biswas and Rick Besteman support charities both locally and globally, and care deeply about key issues including education, poverty reduction, and animal welfare. The recent loss of Rashmi’s parents prompted them to reflect upon their own estate planning, which is why they created the Rashmi Biswas & Rick Besteman Fund with the Niagara Community Foundation.

Given that they are both in good health and hope to have a significant number of years to enjoy their work and leisure, they wanted to “make decisions now that would stand the test of time,” said Rashmi. Establishing a “field of interest” fund now, with general charitable goals rather than naming specific recipient organizations, accomplished the task. They know that their estate will be able to support the causes that are important to them, without having to monitor individual charities.
“We really value education as a tool to help lift people into a place that will help prevent poverty, particularly in the Niagara region” Rick shared, describing the philosophy that also informs their professional lives.

“We want to ensure young people have opportunities,” added Rashmi.
While they can’t personally predict what will be the best use of future funds, Rashmi and Rick are confident the Foundation can.

“The Foundation is well-run, has good oversight, and is closely connected to the community,” Rick said.
“We trust that the leaders of the Foundation will make sound decisions reflective of our intentions” added Rashmi.

Said Rick: “We know our wishes will be carried out.”