Springfield Foundation has standout year

The Springfield Foundation has placed first in Ohio and 15th in the nation in a ranking of local giving, largely because of a $15 million endowment that was transferred from the Community Health Foundation.

The Council on Foundations, a national organization that monitors charitable foundations, composes the list of benchmarks every year to give organizations an idea of how they compare to others. Springfield Foundation ranked highly because the transfer of the Health Foundation endowment gave the Springfield Foundation a statistically high rate of gifts per local residents.

In 2013 the organization showed $142 in donations per capita. But that high amount was driven up by the one-time transfer of the $15 million. In a typical year, the Springfield Foundation receives around $20 per person, according to Springfield Foundation Executive Director Ted Vander Roest.

Vander Roest said it was great to be honored, but it was not a normal year.

“It’s really nice to be recognized, but you have to take it with a grain of salt,” he said.“I hate to say it was an anomaly, but it was a gift out of the ordinary.”

Though the list may be a temporary accomplishment, Vander Roest said the company would give out around $450,000 in scholarships this year, a near $20,000 increase from last year. He also said the organization is currently working on new initiative programs to provide more scholarship money to the areas that need it most.

“I think we’re going to see more of the proactive grant making,” Vander Roest said. “We’re slowly changing.”

Springfield Foundation Treasurer Maureen Massaro said the benchmarks provided a good insight to where the foundation stands compared to those in other communities.

The Community Health Foundation transferred its assets to the Springfield Foundation for investment management in early 2013. Community Health provides free, local access to inpatient reproductive services.

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