As president of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, Nancy Anthony is seriously driven and committed to improving the lives and infrastructure of OKC. She’s fully aligned with the nonprofit’s mission: to serve the philanthropic needs of donors and the community by the development and administration of endowment and other charitable funds, with the end goal of preserving capital and enhancing its value to support the community.
“Everyone in a community has something to offer, and our job as a community foundation is to engage all of them in helping to make all parts of it great,” she says. “We want everyone to participate and benefit.”
Anthony’s history with OCCF is lengthy.
“I started here in 1985 as the executive director with a bookkeeper,” she says. “The foundation started in 1969 and had about $19 million in funds, primarily generated by its founder, John Kirkpatrick. I was looking for an opportunity to be involved in the community beyond just serving on a non-profit board. OCCF was a chance to develop an organization that could play an important role in promoting philanthropy in the community. It was a great opportunity to develop something in the community.”
OCCF operates with a variety of grants and donations.
“Because we work with donors who advise a wide range of gifts, as well as the grants that our trustees make, we make more than 5,000 grants a year to more than 1,000 different charities,” she says. “Additionally, we will have approximately 800 students who receive a scholarship from one of our scholarship funds. Probably 90% of these funds remain in Oklahoma.”
Since taking the reins, Anthony has witnessed and spearheaded some amazing changes: “The foundation has grown from $19 million in 1985 to $1.5 billion today,” she says. “We have developed a significant endowment program for charities, a large scholarship program that supports students statewide, and we have a very large group of donors who have been able to expand their philanthropic impact. I would say we have significantly increased the philanthropic capital in central Oklahoma. Additionally, we administered many of the funds given after the bombing of the Murrah Building in 1995, and we have had a very lasting impact on park and public space beautification in Oklahoma City.”
Over her 30+ years of service, Anthony believes the OCCF has “established a strong standard for charitable endowment management, for the administration of scholarships to benefit students, and developed programs that have expanded and improved parks and public spaces throughout the community. We have a strong commitment to help donors accomplish their charitable goals.”
So, what’s next? Anthony says she’s looking for to the opportunity to “work with donors to help them be more effective, and to preserve their legacy in the community.
“The benefit,” she says, “will be for the whole community.”
Doing Your Part
All of us can help improve our communities, and it doesn’t have to cost anything. Anthony encourages interested parties to do some snooping: check out social media pages and local community organizations for opportunities and needs. Then volunteer, help your neighbors and neighborhoods, and encourage young people to think about their futures. Participate in elections, and encourage others to do the same.
“The opportunities to give back will come best from our personal involvement in our communities,” she says.