About the Foundation
Enhancing the spirit of community and improving the quality of life in Wayne County since 1979.
The Wayne County, Indiana, Foundation, Inc. exists to foster and encourage private philanthropic giving, to enhance the spirit of community and to improve the quality of life in the Wayne County, Indiana, area now and for future generations.
To accomplish this mission, the Foundation will:
Serve as a catalyst when Foundation leadership is necessary to focus attention on critical needs in Wayne County. This includes grantmaking and providing counsel and assistance that will have a significant impact upon recipients and will address community needs.
Be responsible stewards of contributed assets in accordance with donor wishes and the governing instruments of the Foundation.
Champion private giving for the public good among the people of Wayne County by providing a flexible, efficient, and lasting way for donors to accomplish their philanthropic goals.
Encourage collaboration and cooperation among funders and service providers to best address community needs.
The Wayne County Foundation was established in February 1979, after two years of planning by a group of forward-thinking, civic-minded citizens. Their goal was to create a permanent pool of capital with the flexibility to meet the community’s ever changing needs. Moreover, they recognized the benefits of energizing and nourishing charitable, cultural, educational, and community endeavors of the area in a way that would serve the people here for generations to come.
The Wayne County Foundation was one of the first twelve community foundations in the state of Indiana. Today, there are nearly 75 community foundations across the state of Indiana, representing all 92 counties in the state.
In December 1979, $100,000 in assets from the Johnson Sheet Metal Company Foundation were given to the Wayne County Foundation following the sale of that company. One year later, the Foundation made its first grant and awarded its first scholarship.
Charles A. Rodefeld is known as the founder of the Wayne County Foundation. With the advice of Bob Dick, John Harlan, Vic Jose, Doug Oler, and Hugh Ronald, Charlie provided early leadership and vision for the Foundation. He served as president for seven years.
Over the last 40 years, the Foundation has received more than $41,500,000 in gifts and awarded nearly $28,200,000 in grants and scholarships.