Who We Are
Supporting Community Needs Through the Years: A History of Toledo Community Foundation, Inc.
Inspiring and Connecting Thoughtful Giving
Toledo Community Foundation is the community foundation serving the Toledo region, including northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan with a particular emphasis on the greater Toledo area. Since 1973, Toledo Community Foundation has worked with individuals, families and businesses, assisting them in making effective choices that match their philanthropic interests and needs while creating a better community for generations to come.
The Foundation provides a variety of arrangements through which citizens may donate gifts in any amount to meet the changing needs of the community. In general, only the investment earnings are used for grant making purposes, leaving the principal intact in perpetuity. In this way, we are building a permanent endowment to support community needs in areas such as social services, the arts, education, neighborhood and urban affairs, natural resources and physical and mental health.
In addition to that of responsive grant maker, the Foundation plays a variety of other civic roles such as educator, catalyst or convenor on key community issues and makes available the expertise of its professional staff to a wide range of community efforts.
The Foundation is governed by a 14-member Board of Trustees composed of community and business leaders, and managed by a staff recognized for its expertise in specific program areas.
In 1973, Toledo Community Foundation came to life and began to grow. It was many years earlier, however, that the idea of a community foundation was introduced by local banks and a Toledo businessman who cared deeply about the future of our community.
In the late 1920's, representatives of local banks worked together to complete all of the legal work necessary to form a community foundation. In doing so, these individuals envisioned an organization that would one day steward the charitable wishes of many different citizens and perpetually benefit the Toledo area.
Walter E. Terhune, who then owned the local lumber company of Clarke and Terhune, shared that vision and made provisions for the financing that would one day allow this organization (which existed only on paper) to become an active, vibrant part of the community. Through a trust created before he died, Mr. Terhune left his lumber fortune to support his daughter - Alice Crosby Terhune - during her lifetime. The trust provided that, upon Alice's death, a portion of his estate was to go to Toledo Community Foundation.
Alice Crosby Terhune, who lived in Toledo all her life, passed away in the early 1970s. In 1973, $145,000 from her father's trust - created 45 years earlier - established the Walter E. Terhune Fund, the first grant making endowment of Toledo Community Foundation.
During that first year, $1,425 in grants were made to support local charitable projects. From this initial gift, your community foundation has grown and flourished to what it is today.
Since 1973, generous donors have created more than 720 funds, which today have a combined market value of approximately $235 million. Cumulative grants to support charitable projects over 40+ years have totaled more than $191 million, with approximately $16 million granted in 2015 alone.
Toledo Community Foundation, Inc. is a public, charitable foundation which exists to improve the quality of life in the region by:
- Providing a flexible, informed, effective means for donors to achieve their charitable goals in perpetuity;
- Addressing the changing needs of the region through efficient, prudent, high impact grant making;
- Serving as a source of information about and as a catalyst in shaping the region's response to those needs; and
- Facilitating the work of other grant making organizations in order to achieve effective and efficient grant making practices.