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About Us

The mission of The Oregon Community Foundation is to improve lives for all Oregonians through the power of philanthropy.

We work with individuals, families, businesses and organizations to create charitable funds — more than 2,000 of them — that support the community causes they care about. These funds support the critical work that nonprofits are doing across Oregon. Through these funds, OCF awarded more than $108 million in grants and scholarships in 2016.

  • History

    History

    William Swindells, the founder of Willamette Industries, believed in giving back to the state that had made his fortune. Swindells had built lumber mills Across Oregon, creating thousands of family-wage jobs. His vision of philanthropy, like his wood products empire, encompassed the state.

    In 1973, Swindells established The Oregon Community Foundation as a permanent endowment for community improvement efforts throughout the state.

    In a community foundation, donors pool their funds under shared management. Donors may tailor their individual gifts to their own giving objectives. By investing together, they make their money count even more.

    Thanks to these donors, OCF has evolved to become a reflection of both the cherished history and the changing needs of our state. For promising young students, it can be the support that underwrites a successful future. For rural families, it can mean accessible health care. For aspiring artists, and communities hungry for cultural enrichment, OCF can be their connecting force. For donors, it is the way they can connect their giving to their passion.

    From William Swindells' initial $63,000 contribution, OCF now has more than $1.5 billion under management through 1,900 charitable funds.

  • Milestones

    Milestones

    1973  Incorporated
    1974  First fund created with $60,000
    1975  First grants awarded totaling $31,000
    1978  Assets hit $10 million; grants total $366,000
    1983  First Endowment Partner established: Albertina Kerr Centers
    1985  Neighborhood small grants program launched
    1989  Assets hit $50 million; grants total $4.5 million
    1991  Oregon Child Care Initiative launched
    1992  First Leadership Council created in Southern Oregon
    1993  Assets hit $100 million; grants total $7.5 million
    1994  Giving in Oregon Council established
    1998  First regional office opened in Eugene
    1999  Oregon “Ready to Learn” grant initiative established
    2001  Latino Partnership Project formed in Salem
    2008  Assets hit $1 billion; grants total $56 million; Regional Action Initiative launched
    2009  Recession response grantmaking includes $1.78 million to food banks
    2011  Grants and scholarships total more than $86 million
    2012  Bequest of $156 million received for education and the arts; Scholarship endowment reaches $100 million
    2013  Started new initiatives in education and the arts
    2014  Celebrating 40 years of helping donors strengthen our state through grants and scholarships

     

  • OCF By the Numbers

    OCF by the Numbers

    Established – 1973

    Tax status – OCF is classified as "tax exempt" under section 501(c)(3) 
    of the Internal Revenue Code.

    Assets – $1.8 billion, comprising more than 2,000 permanent funds

    Contributions received – $255 million from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016

    Grants and scholarships  – More than $108 million awarded from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016

    National ranking – In the top ten community foundations based on assets

    Governance – 15-member volunteer board of directors

  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

    OCF’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Statement

    In November 2014, the OCF board  unanimously approved a policy statement on equity, diversity and inclusion that is helping drive the Foundation’s work now and will do so far into the future. We have begun to measure our progress and to use all of the tools in our toolbox – grants, scholarships, partnerships, and advocacy—to be effective in our efforts.

    OCF’s Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

    As part of OCF’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, we have an active staff equity committee who plays an important role in being champions for EDI at OCF and ensuring that the commitment OCF has made translates to tangible action. We have a board equity committee that reinforces our organization’s direction and progress in this work.

    We have developed an EDI framework to guide our efforts.