Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

The Bell Fund Trust

"A legacy that works for Western New York now and always."

Bell Fund Trustees, Charles Kreiner and William G. Gisel Jr.


In 1940’s and 1950’s, Bell Aerospace was attracting bright, creative, cutting edge talents to Western New York to chart the course of our nation’s aviation history. Today, nearly 40 years after the company was sold to an out of town buyer, the Bell Fund is continuing to give back to our community.

“Bell Aerospace’s leaders, including my father (former CEO) felt strongly about attracting, growing and keeping talented young people in Buffalo,” said Bell Fund Trustee William G. Gisel Jr. “The Bell Fund allows us to preserve the legacy of an influential company in Western New York history while helping future generations.”

In 1960, the Bell Fund was the first private foundation to transfer its assets to the Community Foundation to ensure that its objectives would always be met and that Bell Aerospace, regardless of its location, would continue to support Western New York. The trustees, including Charles Kreiner, a long-time Bell Aerospace employee, and Mr. Gisel, determine where grants are awarded each year and the Community Foundation provides the oversight of investments and the infrastructure to meet the trustees’ charitable objectives.

“We’ve asked that the Community Foundation educate us on the organizations making a difference in Western New York. The Community Foundation team has a finger on the pulse of our community, and their advice has been invaluable to us as we make decisions about awarding grants,” said Mr. Gisel.

Speaking about their objectives for the fund, Mr. Kreiner added, “We want to ensure that organizations that educate our young people on the region’s rich aviation history, like the Niagara Aerospace Museum, are around for generations to come.”

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