Our History

To ensure the long-term success of his community, banker and lawyer Frederick Goff founded the first community foundation, the Cleveland Foundation, in 1914.

His vision was to pool the charitable resources of Cleveland's philanthropists, living and dead, into one permanent endowment for the betterment of the city. Community leaders would then forever distribute the interest that the Foundation's resources would accrue to fund "such charitable purposes as will best make for the mental, moral, and physical improvement of the inhabitants of Cleveland."

London Community Foundation

The Winnipeg Foundation was Canada's first community foundation, established in 1921. In 1943, an ambitious young man from Winnipeg named J. Allyn Taylor, was transferred to London by his employer, Canada Trust.

Taylor understood the benefits that an independent community-based charitable endowment fund has in providing financial capital for a community as well as the leadership role it plays in building social capital – the glue that holds communities together.

By 1954, he had overseen the establishment and incorporation of a London Foundation. However, it was nothing more than a legal entity with virtually no capital. The assets of the Foundation at December 31st 1979 totalled $5,585.23, the net balance of capital from 1952 – 1979. In 1979 after retiring as president of Canada Trust, Taylor made London Foundation (since then renamed London Community Foundation) one of his primary projects.

Thanks to Taylor, the inaugural Board of Directors and the donations of so many who believe in the power of endowment, the Foundation continues to thrive and grants millions of dollars each year into the surrounding community.