MANSFIELD -- World War II had just ended when a group of seven community leaders decided to start the Richland County Foundation. They were inspired by local philanthropist Anna Scattergood, who created a fund to benefit poverty-stricken elderly and terminally ill residents in Mansfield.
It was with the guidance of D. Osborne Meese that the Foundation was established on Oct. 7, 1945. The other founders were Paul Tappan, Norman Wolfe, Scott Coffin, George Stephens, John Finefrock and Robert Black.
The Richland County Foundation was modeled after the Cleveland Foundation and was created as an independent nonprofit organization that could accept and administer charitable gifts and bequests, regardless of size, for the benefit of the local community.
The founders would be proud of the generosity of the donors to the community foundation where the assets total $177M.
In 2019 the Foundation and its donors awarded $6,356,311 in grants to nonprofits to support programs and projects in economic development, education, children and families, arts and culture, environment, human and health services and churches.
Since 1945, the Foundation has granted $95,866,054 in this community. To learn more, go to rcf75.org.
To mark the 75th anniversary, the Foundation awarded beautification grants and paid for the installation of bike racks in Bellville, Butler, Lexington, Lucas, Ontario, Plymouth, Shelby, Shiloh, and Mansfield.
“The COVID-19 pandemic altered our 75 th anniversary plans. However, it did not stop the Foundation from delivering on its mission to improve and enhance the quality of life for people living in Richland County through strategic philanthropy and leadership.” said Foundation President Brady Groves.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Richland County Foundation Board of Trustees redirected its Unrestricted/Community Fund to meet emerging needs. A Community Engagement Team made up of people working in the health and human services sectors meets as needed to make grant recommendations.
To date, a total of $552,532 has been awarded for COVID-19 Relief in the community. That total includes the funding from the Foundation's Community Fund, Donor-Advised Funds, $100,000 from Richland County Job and Family Services, and $37,742 raised online via a special COVID-19 Relief edition of Richland Gives in early May.