The Ashland County Community Foundation was begun in late 1995, under the leadership of its pro bona President, Dr. Lucille Ford, and a board of volunteer trustees.
This charitable group of community members each placed either $10,000 cash or $50,000 deferred with the ACCF. The First Presbyterian Church in Ashland housed the Foundation "office" at no charge.
Several local 501(c)(3) organizations such as the Ashland Family YMCA, Hospice of North Central Ohio, and the Ashland County Cancer Association brought part or all of their endowment to the new Community Foundation to facilitate its beginning.
The Foundation receives a challenge grant of $100,000 from The Timken Foundation of Canton for the ACCF grants program. The Ashland County community rises to the challenge with support, thus anchoring the original grants program. In 2000 ACCF begins receiving the annual Hazel Myers Spreng Fund distribution. These distributions are also used in the ACCF grants program and greatly enhance the Foundation's grantmaking capabilities.
The ACCF makes a "leap of faith" to purchase the Huntington Bank branch building on College Avenue in Ashland. A campaign, aptly named the "Time of Opportunity Campaign" begins in late 2000 and runs through the end of the calendar year in December of 2002. Funds raised not only covered the purchase of the building but provide ample funds to endow the building. This lovely building gives the ACCF a permanent home to serve the county "for generations to come."
ACCF's 100th fund, the Women's Fund, is created. After assessing the need for such a fund, a steering committee is formed to create a permanent legacy that enhances the lives of Ashland County women. The fund's three-fold purpose: (1) encourage women to achieve self-sufficiency, (2) educate women about community needs, and (3) encourage women to participate as donors and to build a permanent endowment. Many thousands of dollars in grants have been made to charitable organizations contributing to the benefit of Ashland County women.
The Foundation celebrates its 10th year. More than $2 million have been "given back" to the community since the ACCF inception. With almost 3,000 donors, ACCF's assets total $7.8 million. Community outreach is extended when the ACCF serves as fiscal agent for the local partnership in the region-wide Fund for Our Economic Future. A collaborative relationship among ACCF, United Way, Mental Health and Recovery Board and the Chamber of Commerce is also formed. Additionally in 2005, an annual Charles F. Kettering Honors Science Camp for seventh, eighth and ninth grade students is implemented with an endowment fund from The Kettering Fund.
ACCF is pleased to participate in the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center. From initial involvement in study and grant writing to providing office space for administration to chairing the $1.5 million local campaign, Dr. Ford and the Foundation are privileged to help make the Kroc Center dream a reality. Continuing to serve as fiscal agent, ACCF is responsible for managing and processing the $2.2 million raised from the community's generous support of the Campaign. An additional $1 million is received from the State of Ohio. The Foundation holds a community-created Salvation Army Kroc Center Endowment Fund to perpetually support the Kroc Center and its activities.
ACCF launches a new initiative, Kids Who Care. Entering its second year, this program recognizes service by Ashland County individuals ages 6 - 18 who demonstrate outstanding charitable commitment to the Community. ACCF is truly excited to share with the Ashland Community the generous and giving hearts of these young individuals.
ACCF celebrates 15 years with $4,064,319 given back to the Ashland County community via 5,396 donors, $13 million total assets. Proclamations of recognition are received from the Ashland and Loudonville mayors, Ashland County commissioners and State of Ohio Senate in celebration of 15 years of service. ACCF's first supporting organization (a family foundation) comes aboard.
The Foundation's "Footprints in Stone" campaign, with community support and 100% participation by current Board members, closes in excess of its $1.5 million goal. Operations Endowment dollars raised are to assure that ACCF is positioned to maintain its quality operations far into the future while expanding vital programs to meet new and growing needs in Ashland County.
Jim Cutright, former ACCF board member and retired business executive, is hired, effective July 1, 2012, into the newly-created position of Executive Director/CEO. After a 4-month mentoring process, under the guidance of Dr. Lucille Ford, Jim assumes full responsibility of ACCF leadership, effective November 1, 2012. Dr. Ford remains active as President and Senior Advisor.
ACCF's Development Committee began a new initiative to bolster our Community Grants program by offering opportunities to create named, permanently-endowed funds, from which the distributions are unrestricted by the donor. This provides the Foundation's Grants Committee the flexibility to react to ever-changing needs in Ashland County ...for generations to come. To date, 18 funds have been created for this purpose. Additionally, two major milestones were reached during ACCF's 18th year: over $20 million in total assets and more than $6 million given back to the Ashland County community. A sincere thank you to our nearly 6,000 donors!
ACCF’s Women’s Fund observes its 10th anniversary in 2014. A grand celebration, with over 140 women in attendance, marks the event. The inaugural “Dr. Lucille G. Ford ‘Freedom from Selfishness’ Award”, established by the Women's Fund in honor of ACCF's founding president Dr. Lucille G. Ford, is made at the event. It recognizes an Ashland County woman who demonstrates a long-standing commitment to philanthropy. The very deserving first recipient is Nancy Tipton Davis, a long-time trustee of the Ashland County Community Foundation.
ACCF observes its 20th year of existence in 2015, and launches a new program to be known as the IMPACT Youth Council (Imagine Making Philanthropy an Ashland County Tradition).
This new program is an opportunity for sophomores, juniors and seniors from Ashland, Hillsdale, Loudonville and Mapleton high schools, the Ashland-West Holmes Career Center, Veritas Academy and Home Schoolers.
The students chosen to participate on the IMPACT Youth Council will work as a team to gain awareness of the needs of youth in Ashland County and then review applications for programs that provide services to meet those needs. The Ashland County Community Foundation will provide a small pool of dollars, over which these students will be given decision-making authority to award grants to fund the programs chosen by the IMPACT Youth Council.
The Foundation has built its strength over the years by adding many endowments and benefactors. Currently, gifts to the foundation total over twenty-nine million dollars. The ACCF continues to work with families, individuals, estates, financial planners, and attorneys to design gift plans that fit every economic situation. This ensures that donors receive the most benefit from their charitable contributions and their philanthropic dollars are used to the fullest extent.
From the Executive Director/CEO
"Welcome to the Ashland County Community Foundation. As you navigate your way around our website, we hope that you'll begin to get a sense of the strong connection that exists between our donors and those with needs in Ashland County.
Whether it is a worthy nonprofit organization working hard to advance its mission or a student pursuing the dream of higher education, the Foundation serves as the connecting link, the "charitable means-to-an-end" for the creation of permanent community endowment to provide funding support now and for generations to come. Please join us "Get Connected!"
The mission of the Ashland County Community Foundation is to advance philanthropy and improve the quality of life in Ashland County by supporting charitable activities in the community, providing and administering a variety of planned giving programs, and serving as responsible stewards of scholarship, as well as individual and organizational funds for specific charities.
~ November 1995