In 1999, a Task Force of the Leadership Akron Board of Trustees studied and initiated an endowment campaign to assure the organization’s future financial sustainability. In appreciation and respect for the corporate support we have received since 1984, the trustees and alumni chose to keep the campaign in the “family” and accepted the full challenge of building the Leadership Akron Endowment Fund along with foundation support.

Through generosity of current and past trustees, alumni members and numerous friends and supporters, the Leadership Akron Endowment Fund stood at over $650,000 in its first decade. These included major foundation gifts from the GAR Foundation, Knight Foundation, Lehner Foundation, Sisler-McFawn Foundation, and Calhoun Charitable Trust.

In 2008, as Leadership Akron anticipated growth to serve the continuum of leadership, Leadership Akron sought to grow the endowment to a level that it could support a larger scope of work, and continue to keep tuition rates in check. Leadership from Life Trustees Roger Read and Phil Maynard, alumni co-chairs Bill Lowery and Christine Yuhasz, and board leadership from Riley Lochridge and Marty Hauser, keyed the success of the 25th anniversary endowment campaign. This campaign also saw the GAR Foundation step forward with a significant challenge which was met by the alumni.

Today the endowment stands at over $1 million

It continues to foster the success of Leadership Akron in these ways:

  • Assures the continued excellence of our flagship program, Leadership Akron Signature Program
  • Supports other premier Leadership Akron programs, including NEXT (preparing leaders at or near retirement for the next phase of community engagement) and Diversity on Board (preparing professionals who are part of a minority group for board leadership)
  • Enables all programs to remain accessible to the full diversity of the community with affordable tuition rates
  • Enables staff support to grow programs and services, including the needs of a growing alumni association

Leadership Akron continues to rely on the Endowment Fund as an important source of our financial health. Individual donors may designate their Founders Society gift to the Endowment Fund.

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