Suffolk Foundation History


Building a Better Community...

The Suffolk Foundation, an established community foundation, was incorporated on November 9, 2006, and received its 501(c) (3) tax-exempt, nonprofit status from the IRS in October 2007. Part of its mission is to facilitate and develop philanthropy which will allow charitable grant making to benefit the citizens in the City of Suffolk and the surrounding area. The Suffolk Foundation’s mission is to assist individuals, corporations, organizations, and other foundations in meeting their charitable goals.

Foundation Highlights - Through the Years

2008 - Distributed its first grants after a devastating tornado in April damaged numerous homes and businesses in Suffolk. Over $185,000 was donated to the Foundation to support the victims and establish a Disaster Relief Fund to be used for victims of possible future disasters. In September 2008, awarded its first community grants to nine qualified non-profit organizations, distributing $41,500. Over $200,000, including scholarships and donor-advised grants, was awarded during the year. Total assets of more than $2,400,000. learn more

2009 – Distributed annual grants of $43,800 to 11 nonprofit organizations. The family of R. Curtis Saunders, Jr., designated contributions in his memory to establish an administrative fund to help support the ongoing work of the Foundation. Over $188,000, including scholarships and donor-advised grants, was awarded during the year. Total assets of more than $2,600,000. learn more

2010 - Distributed annual grants of $70,000 to 17 nonprofit organizations. Received its first bequest from Mrs. Ann Godwin Moore, valued at over $275,000, to the Unrestricted Fund. Over $462,000, including scholarships and donor-advised grants, was awarded during the year. Established its first organization fund with the Suffolk Education Foundation valued at over $410,000. Total assets of more than $3,600,000. learn more

2011 – Distributed annual grants of $75,000 to 18 nonprofit organizations. Over $161,000, including scholarships and donor-advised grants, was awarded during the year. Sponsored the First Annual Community Forum and Luncheon with over 150 attending. Total assets of more than $3,700,000. learn more

2012 - Distributed annual grants of $85,000 to 24 nonprofit organizations. Over $267,000, including scholarships and donor-advised grants, was awarded during the year. Developed a $150,000 grant agreement with the Birdsong Corporation to provide funds to support Paul D. Camp Community College’s “High Need Academic and Workforce LPN Program.” Sponsored the Second Annual Community Forum and Luncheon. Total assets of more than $4,100,000. learn more

2013 – Distributed annual grants of $105,000 to 25 nonprofits, including its largest single gift of $50,000 to provide a generator for the Salvation Army downtown disaster shelter. Over $1.4 million, including scholarships and donor-advised grants, was awarded during the year. Received its largest, to date, donor gift of over $2.3 million. Sponsored the Third Annual Community Forum and Luncheon. Total assets of more than $5,500,000. learn more

2014 – Distributed annual grants of $129,955 to 32 nonprofit organizations. Over $747,000 including scholarships and donor-advised grants, was awarded during the year. Sponsored the Fourth Annual Community Forum and Luncheon. Total assets of more than $5,400,000. learn more

2015 - Distributed annual grants of $116,500 to 28 nonprofit organizations. Over $502,000, including scholarships and donor-advised grants, was awarded during the year. Sponsored the Fifth Annual Community Forum and Luncheon. Hired first full-time Executive Director. Total assets of more than $5,200,000. learn more

2016 - Distributed annual grants of $123,875 to 31 nonprofit organizations. Over $430,000, including scholarships and donor-advised grants, was awarded during the year. Sponsored the Sixth Annual Community Forum and Luncheon. Number of available scholarships increased from four to ten with total awards of $30,000. Hired first part-time Administrative Assistant. Launched the “Next Step” Operating Endowment campaign to ensure sustainability of Foundation operations. Total assets of more than $5,500,000. learn more

Suffolk Foundation History

THE SUFFOLK FOUNDATION was incorporated on November 9, 2006, and received its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the IRS on October 4, 2007. Mr. William N. Hill, former Suffolk Public Schools administrator, was selected by the Board to serve as the Foundation’s first Executive Director. The original Foundation office was located at 1514 Holland Road, which shared space with the Obici Healthcare Foundation. Later, through the generosity of Mr. Angus I. Hines, Jr., one of the founding members, the Foundation established its office at 1426 Holland Road in Suffolk. The Foundation’s current office is at 106 W. Finney Ave. in Suffolk.

The Foundation is a tax-exempt organization; it is a non-profit, autonomous, publicly-supported, nonsectarian, philanthropic institution with a long-term goal of receiving and managing funds which benefit the citizens of Suffolk perpetually. These funds have been and will be established by many separate donors for the broad-based charitable needs of Suffolk and the surrounding area. The Suffolk Foundation accepts contributions from individuals, businesses, foundations, and other non-profit organizations. These funds are held in trust and pooled together for investment purposes. The income earned on these funds is distributed annually in the form of grants to non-profit agencies, enhancing the quality of life for area citizens.

2008 - The Foundation distributed its first grants after a devastating tornado in April damaged numerous homes and businesses throughout Suffolk. Through the generosity of many individuals and organizations, over $185,000 was donated to the Foundation to support the victims and establish a $75,000 Disaster Relief Fund to be used for victims of possible future disasters. Victims of the tornado received immediate assistance from organizations such as the Salvation Army, Mercy Chefs, God’s Pit Crew, Samaritan’s Purse, Suffolk’s Open Door Church, and the Economic Development Authority’s Matching Grant Façade Program. These 501(c)(3) organizations received grants from the Suffolk Foundation’s Tornado Relief Fund to assist in supporting their efforts.

The first scheduled grant distribution was the presentation of the $2,500 Howard D. Mast Memorial Scholarship. The first annual grant application cycle was completed in December with the Foundation distributing $41,500 to nine area non-profits. Including awarding grants from donor-advised funds, the Foundation awarded over $200,000 to non-profits during 2008 and our total assets were more than $2,400,000.

2009 - During the second grant cycle in December, the Foundation distributed $43,800 to 11 area non-profits. The Foundation distributed more than $194,500 to nonprofit agencies, including donor-advised grants, and total assets grew to more than $2,600,000.

The Foundation received funds to manage its second scholarship, the Colonel Fred V. Cherry Scholarship. The Foundation was honored to have the family of R. Curtis Saunders, Jr., designate contributions in his memory to establish an administrative fund to help support the ongoing work of the Foundation.

2010 – This year brought two firsts to the Suffolk Foundation. The Foundation received its first bequest: Mrs. Ann Godwin Moore left her estate to the Unrestricted Fund category, allowing the Foundation to support non-profits by annually awarding grants from the interest earned; the Foundation Board approved an agreement with the Suffolk Education Foundation to establish its first organization fund.

Seventeen non-profit agencies were awarded $70,000 in grants, and $85,000 was awarded through donor-advised funds and scholarships. Our total assets were more than $3,600,000.

2011 - The Foundation continued to expand its annual grants program by donating $75,000 to 18 non-profit agencies. The Foundation also distributed $119,450 in donor-advised funds and scholarships. Since the Foundation distributed its first funds to tornado victims in 2008, over $850,000 had been awarded to non-profits. Foundation assets continued to grow, reaching over $3.7 million.

The Foundation moved to its new office, located in the Obici Healthcare Foundation building at 106 West Finney Avenue.

The Suffolk Foundation had another first in 2011. In November, the Foundation held its first Community Forum & Luncheon. Dr. James V. Koch, noted local economist and President Emeritus of Old Dominion University, was the featured speaker. The “Fall Forum” was not a fundraising activity or a request for financial support by the Foundation, but rather an opportunity for the Foundation to present important issues and information that facilitate building a stronger and better community.

2012 - The Foundation’s assets continued to grow, exceeding the $4 million mark in less than six years of operation, and each year since the first unrestricted annual grants of $41,500 were distributed, the amount granted has increased. This year, $85,000 was distributed to 24 non-profits. Total grant distributions of over $267,000 were distributed to enhance the quality of life in Suffolk and other communities. Since the Foundation’s incorporation, grantees have received over $1.1 million in funds.

The Foundation sponsored its second Annual Community Forum and Luncheon, with Dr. James V. Koch as the featured speaker.

The Foundation received a gift from the estate of Dottie G. Scott to establish the Dottie Scott’s Elizabeth River Artists Designated Fund. The fund will be used to support an artists’ group and to help provide these individuals with the opportunity to explore and fulfill their creative talents. Additionally, the Foundation developed a $150,000 grant agreement with the Birdsong Corporation to provide funds to support Paul D. Camp Community College’s “High Need Academic and Workforce LPN Program.”

2013 - For the first time, the Foundation distributed over $100,000 in unrestricted grants. The Foundation granted $105,000 to 25 area non-profit agencies. It also distributed its largest single grant of $50,000 to the Suffolk Salvation Army for the purchase of a generator for the new downtown disaster shelter. The Foundation had assets of over $5.5 million, and distributed over $1.4 million in unrestricted, designated, donor-advised, and scholarship funds during the year.

Several new funds were added to our portfolio: the Brian and Caroline Martin Family Donor-Advised Fund, the ROSF Donor-Advised Fund, and the Lewis F. Morris Memorial Scholarship.

The third Annual Community Forum and Luncheon featured Mr. Bobby Thalhimer, a well-respected authority on community foundations, presenting information on the importance and impact of community foundations.

2014 - The Foundation awarded $129,955 to 32 nonprofit organizations during the Foundation’s annual grant cycle and distributed over $747,000 including scholarships and donor-advised grants, and had total assets of over $5,400,000.

The Foundation established its second Designated Fund, the Ella Freeman Rawls Endowment, supporting the on-going operations of the Rawls Museum Arts in Courtland, VA. Also, the Foundation’s fourth scholarship fund, the Ossie S. & Thomas F. Blair, Jr. Family Memorial Scholarship, was established.

The fourth Annual Community Forum and Luncheon featured Admiral Bill Gortney, Commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, who spoke on "The Changes and Choices of a Fleet Commander."

2015 – The Foundation awarded annual grants of $116,500 to 28 nonprofit organizations. Over $502,000, including scholarships and donor-advised grants, was distributed during the year and our total assets were more than $5,200,000.

The Foundation established three more scholarship funds, the Amy Phelps Art Scholarship, the William N. Hill Scholarship, and the Allfirst Memorial Scholarship bringing our total number of scholarship funds to eight.

The fifth Annual Community Forum and Luncheon featured Mr. Dennis Gartman, editor and publisher of The Gartman Letter, a daily commentary on global capital markets.

Mr. William N. Hill announced his retirement as Executive Director and Mr. Win Winslow (bio) was hired as the Foundation’s first full-time Executive Director.

2016 – The Foundation awarded annual grants of $123,875 to 31 nonprofit organizations, the ninth consecutive year of increasing grant awards. Over $430,000, including scholarships and donor-advised grants, was distributed during the year and total assets grew to more than $5,500,000.

With the addition of the ForKids Scholarship, the Haddad Foundation Scholarship, and the Suffolk Business Women’s Scholarship, total scholarship funds grew to ten with scholarships valued at $30,000.

The Foundation reached an agreement with the Suffolk Recreation and Charitable Association to establish its second organization fund.

The sixth Annual Community Forum and Luncheon featured Mrs. Angelica Light, retired CEO of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation and Interim Executive Director of the Obici Healthcare Foundation, who spoke on “Getting Smarter About Getting Healthier.”

The Foundation launched its first fundraising initiative, the Next Step Operating Endowment Campaign, to ensure continued sustainability of its administrative operations and hired Mrs. Kimberlee Raines as its first part-time administrative assistant.