Oilman and philanthropist John E. Kirkpatrick and eight fellow business leaders founded the Oklahoma City Community Foundation in 1969 as a place where donors could create easily create charitable endowments for the benefit of the community.
The group was spurred into action by the passage of the National Tax Reform Act of 1969 that imposed new restrictions on private foundations. As a result, the considerable tax advantages of contributing to a public community foundation made sense. Endowment funds created by donors could provide long-term support for charities, scholarships and a variety of community needs as well as a maximum tax benefit to the donor.
Designed to meet the test of time, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation was modeled after the Cleveland Foundation, one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the country. From its beginning, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation has operated within a system of checks and balances that ensures accountability and good stewardship. Its structure allows the organization to adapt to the changing needs of the community and to ensure the donor’s intent is preserved.
The first year of operations ended with net worth of $45,299 from one gift. As of June 30, 2011, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation manages more than 1,000 endowment funds with assets in excess of $620 million.
Learn more about John Kirkpatrick here.
Oklahoma City Community Foundation: 1969-2012
Oilman and philanthropist John E. Kirkpatrick and eight fellow community leaders founded the Oklahoma City Community Foundation in 1969. The group was spurred into action by the passage of the National Tax Reform Act of 1969 that imposed new restrictions on private foundations. As a result, the considerable tax advantages of contributing to a public community foundation made sense. Endowment funds created by donors could now provide long-term support for charities, scholarships and a variety of community needs as well as meet the charitable goals of the donors. A community foundation would encourage more individuals to create funds to benefit the community.
Florence Ogden Wilson sold a tract of her family’s land to the state and she deeded $50,000 to establish charitable organization endowment funds for five nonprofit organizations. Her gift was the first designated endowment fund gift. See pages 38-47 for more information.
E.K. Gaylord, longtime president of the Oklahoma Publishing Company, established the first permanent scholarship fund in 1970.
John and Eleanor Kirkpatrick offered the first of the Kirkpatrick Match Challenges that matched funds raised during a defined time period by charitable organizations for their endowment funds. The match raised $740,000 that the Kirkpatricks matched dollar for dollar. The match was in celebration of our 10th anniversary.
Oilman W.T. “Bill” Payne was an astute businessman and philanthropist. Following his death in 1981, we received a bequest from Mr. Payne’s estate, the assets of Payne Petroleum that more than doubled the organization’s assets.
Nancy B. Anthony became the fourth executive director in 1985. When she joined the organization, she was the only full-time employee. At the end of Fiscal Year 2012, Mrs. Anthony now oversees a staff of 31 and assets in excess of $632 million.
Following the sale of their food distribution company, William and Margaret Davis, on the advice of their professional advisor, established the first Affiliated Fund in 1987.
To help the state celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Land Run of 1889, the Trustees provided grants supporting seven major projects for the Centennial celebration. This initiated a focus on developing new programs.
A $1.3 million bequest from Margaret Annis Boys launched a new focus area in beautification of public land and parks in Oklahoma County. Since 1991, the Margaret Annis Boys Trust has awarded more than $1.5 million in grants and allowed us to work with residents and city and county officials to improve public land.
In 1992, the Trustees held the organization’s first ever long range planning process to set forth goals for the future. From this meeting the mission statement was developed and the bylaws were changed to increase the number of Trustees from the original nine to 12.
The After School Options (ASO) Initiative was the first major focus program area initiated by the Trustees in response to a community-wide need for positive activities for youth during non-school hours. For nine years, ASO was a catalyst in bringing together civic, religious and government entities to address the need and create programs that exist today.
April 19, 1995 is a date of significant impact on our community. Our community’s tragedy became the nation’s tragedy and contributions of support immediately poured in. Because of an existing relationship with area nonprofit organizations, we were able to take a lead role in the community’s response and we continue to administer the Oklahoma City Disaster Relief Fund.
In 1998, the Trustee Scholarship Initiative is launched to bring together guidance counselors from high schools in central Oklahoma to enhance their knowledge and resources for their students seeking post-secondary education. The initiative also awards scholarships through five programs.
Jeanette. L. Gamba was elected the first female president of the Board of Trustees. She would serve three consecutive years in that leadership role.
To address a shortage of qualified nurses for nonprofit hospitals, we established the Nurse Education Program to fund scholarships for nurses employed at the facilities who are seeking certification as a Registered Nurse or a bachelor’s degree in nursing science.
DonorCentral, an online reporting system, was added to our website in 2003 as a resource for donors with permanent Advised Funds so they can review their fund value and gifts made to the fund as well as recommend grants. In 2004, this service was made available to nonprofit organizations with permanent endowment funds so representatives can view fund activity.
During a long range planning session in 2004, the Trustees addressed the need for a new facility to accommodate more services for donors and a growing staff. A Trustee task force located property at North Broadway Avenue between North 10th and 9th streets that was purchased. A competitive selection process led to hiring an architectural firm.
Our founder, John E. Kirkpatrick would not live to see the completion of the new facility. He died on Oct. 3, 2006 at the age of 98. He left behind a legacy of generosity and caring that will have an impact on the community for generations. The family’s history of giving continues through the Kirkpatrick Family Affiliated Fund that is now led by his grandson, Christian K. Keesee.
In 2007, the staff relocated to the new 18,000-square-foot facility that features nearly 9,000 square feet of public space available for use by nonprofit organizations and community groups.
To mark our 40th anniversary in 2009, the Trustees provided support for several key projects including Get Reading Oklahoma, an initiative to assist Oklahoma adults in improving their reading, writing and math skills.
The introduction of the iFund Grants Program in 2011 provided an opportunity to help meet community needs in three areas: Access to Health Care, Opportunities for Children and Services for Elderly.
In 2012, we partnered with GuideStar to make available GiveSmartOKC, a comprehensive online resource for the community.
We ended Fiscal Year 2012 on June 30 with assets in excess of $632 million, the highest year-end market value to date.