The founder of Willamette Industries believed in giving back to the state that had made his fortune. All across Oregon, William Swindells had built lumber mills and created thousands of family-wage jobs harvesting and processing timber. His vision for philanthropy, like his wood products empire, encompassed the state.
In 1973, Swindells established The Oregon Community Foundation to be a permanent endowment for community improvement efforts throughout the state.
In a community foundation, donors pool their funds under shared management. Each donor can tailor his or her gift to achieve their giving objective. By investing together, they can squeeze more good from every dollar.
Thanks to these donors, OCF has evolved to become a reflection of both the cherished history and changing needs of our state. To promising young students, it can be the support that underwrites a successful future. To rural families, it can mean accessible health care. To aspiring artists and communities hungry for cultural enrichment, OCF can be their connecting force. To donors, it is the way they can connect their giving to their passion.
OCF is truly a statewide organization. We rely on 900 volunteer leaders who give us the deep-rooted knowledge of local needs that helps us identify and address issues that impact livability. OCF created the Neighborhood Partnership Fund to help build affordable housing, the Early Childhood Initiative to serve Oregon’s youngest and most vulnerable citizens, and the Latino Partnership Project to improve health care, education, and social services for the Latino community. And with four other Oregon foundations, OCF founded the Chalkboard Project, engaging Oregonians in improving the quality of public education.
From William Swindells' initial $60,000 contribution, OCF today has close to $1 billion under management through 1,500 charitable funds, and provided over $60 million in grants and scholarships in 2008.