History

The first philanthropic trust for Louisville was created in 1916 as the Louisville Foundation. After being inactive for many years, that Foundation was reorganized in 1984 as a community foundation. The success of the new Community Foundation of Louisville is due largely to its initial leaders—the late Wilson W. Wyatt, Sr. (Chair, 1984-1992) and the late Baylor Landrum, Jr. (President, 1983-1993; Chair, 1992-93).

From 1984 to 2011, the Community Foundation grew from six charitable funds and assets of $1.1 million to more than 1,200 funds totaling over $320 million. Although commingled as a lasting community resource, each fund has its own name and charitable purpose as defined by its donors. In 2011, these funds awarded 7,500 grants totaling more than $35 million to nonprofit organizations that enhance the Louisville area and beyond.

A few Community Foundation Milestones


1984

The Louisville Foundation is reorganized as the Louisville Community Foundation (LCF) under the leadership of Wilson W. Wyatt, Sr., Board Chair, and Baylor Landrum, Jr., President. Darrell Murphy is appointed Executive Director.

LCF holds six endowment funds totaling $1.1 million and awards $107,000 in grants.

 

1988

The Foundation receives its first Field of Interest endowment fund—$750,000 in memory of Dr. W. Barnett Owen to benefit the children of Jefferson County.

 

1991

C. Dennis Riggs joins the Community Foundation as the second Executive Director. He is named president and CEO in 1992.

 

1993

Total assets under management reach a new milestone of $50 million.

 

1995

LCF changes its name to the Community Foundation of Louisville.

 

1997

After a four-year hiatus, the Board resumes making Community Grants from unrestricted funds to help at-risk children and youth. The Foundation surpasses its goal of $100 million by 2000 with a total of $112 million in assets in 678 funds.

 

1999

Barbara N. Sanford is the first woman elected Chair of the Board, and serves through 2000. The first multi-million dollar scholarship fund is endowed by Henry Vogt Heuser with a gift of $3 million.

 

2002

The Community Foundation convenes the Greater Louisville Project, which commissions the Brookings Institution to assess local strengths and challenges. Their findings are compiled in "Beyond Merger: A Competitive Vision for the Regional City of Louisville."

 

2007

The Community Grants Program ends by awarding $386,500 in grants to 18 projects serving 3,000 at-risk kids. From its inception in 1997, the program awarded 220 grants totaling $3.8 million.

 

2009

C. Dennis Riggs retires after 17 years. The Board appoints Susan A. Barry as President and CEO.

 

2011

The Foundation holds 1,200 charitable funds with assets of nearly $320 million, and distributes grants of over $35 million. Cumulative grants through the Community Foundation surpass $500 million.