The Morgan Family Foundation was founded in December 2003 by Lee and Vicki Morgan, longtime residents of the small Ohio village of Yellow Springs. The family business, The Antioch Company, recapitalized that year, offering Lee and Vicki an opportunity to create another family legacy: a grantmaking foundation. The couple dedicated a significant amount of their proceeds to this new, endowed vehicle for charitable giving.
“Family” is a very important component of this Foundation’s identity. Joining Vicki and Lee on the board are their daughter and daughter-in-law, two extended family members, as well as three unrelated community members. Consistent with the Quaker heritage of the Morgan family, Foundation board members strive for consensus decision-making, and view the Foundation as one way to keep the family close while developing the charitable impulse and practice, individually as well as collectively.
A small portion of grants annually amplifies the board members’ individual charitable interests, although the vast majority of Foundation grants are selected through a competitive application process. The Foundation was not created to replace charitable giving by individual board members, but instead to consider opportunities or approaches not otherwise possible.
Philanthropy is a journey, and the family foundation one way to navigate the trip. Over time, board members have experimented with different approaches to giving, including board-initiated grants, competitive grant rounds open to a diverse array of charitable causes, and more narrow grant initiatives guided by both board interest and community opportunities. These experiences have helped to inform and shape a clearer course for the Foundation’s grantmaking.