About Us

About the Scioto Foundation

Who We Are

The Scioto Foundation is a collection of hundreds of endowment funds created by people, businesses, families, and nonprofit organizations in our community. These funds are linked together by our mission to improve and enrich the quality of life for the community by:

  • Promoting philanthropy,
  • Providing a continuous stream of income to meet community need and the intent of our donors,
  • Demonstrating leadership through collaborative partnerships with community organizations,
  • Maximizing the outcomes of grant making, and
  • Practicing wise and careful investment of assets.

We are a tax-exempt public charity governed by a board of volunteer civic and business leaders. We use professionals to invest and manage our assets in a cost-effective way. Our staff researches and understands the charitable needs of our community, and our board awards grants that advance the good work of our local nonprofit sector. We identify current and emerging issues, stimulate resources to address those needs, and help our community prepare for the future.

We do this and more to ensure there is a permanent, philanthropic resource in our community. For good. Forever.

Fast Facts

  • The Scioto Foundation began in 1974.
  • We provide competitive quarterly grants for the benefit of Scioto County nonprofit organizations. Since 1975, the Scioto Foundation has paid close to $30,000,000 in grants to public charities.
  • In 2008, we founded the University College Access Network [UCAN] to help local students plan, prepare, and pay for college.
  • We are a regional scholarship provider to students from neighboring high schools across south-central, southeastern Ohio and north-central Kentucky (Greenup & Lewis counties).
  • In 2013, we launched Scioto Gives, a one-day on-line matching gift program to assist nonprofit organizations in building their long-term endowment funds.
  • Scioto 365 began in 2018. It is a participatory grant-making program focused upon creating and sustaining vibrant, healthy, and safe neighborhoods (community and economic development).

Scioto Foundation's Beginnings

In 1970 Bertha Truehart Johnson, resident of Columbus, Ohio, passed away. Bertha had lived her life as a charitable-minded person and upon her death she continued that practice by leaving a sizeable bequest to her birthplace of Portsmouth, Ohio. Unfortunately, in 1970 there was no philanthropic vehicle in place to access Mrs. Johnson’s gift. Thus, several prominent Scioto County area leaders, along with representatives from the Columbus Foundation, gathered with a goal of creating a community foundation.

The concept of a community foundation is not new. It began in 1914 when a Cleveland attorney envisioned a single entity to steward the charitable wishes of many different citizens for the community’s perpetual benefit. He realized that many charitable-minded persons lived in the community who didn’t have the financial resources of a Ford or Rockefeller, yet he knew if their donations were pooled or combined, they could generate significant grants back into the community for public good.

In 1974, the Scioto Foundation was established with Mrs. Johnson’s gift of $200,000. It is recognized by the Internal Revenue Services as a qualified 501 (c)(3) nonprofit community foundation. Today, the Scioto Foundation is a collection of over 350 separate component funds endowed in perpetuity. They are wisely invested, and earnings are used to provide financial support to local charities, nonprofit agencies, and schools, as well as scholarships for area youth.

At the close of 2021, the Scioto Foundation had assets of $53.5 million and since 1974, the Scioto Foundation has given approximately $27.5 million back to the community in the form of grants and scholarships.

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