Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

The Josephine Goodyear Foundation

Ted Walsh, Chair of the Josephine Goodyear Council with Council Member Bill Gisel

“We’re stronger and more visible, we’re making wiser decisions and we can go to bed at night knowing that the investment performance is being properly managed, and we’re getting wonderful results.” – Ted Walsh, Chair, Josephine Goodyear Foundation

The Josephine Goodyear Foundation was established in 1912 to help indigent women and children. Like many private foundations, it was governed by a group of volunteers, friends and family members, who took responsibility for managing the investments and grantmaking. In 2006, a tumultuous economy motivated the group to look at new options for investing the Foundation’s assets.

“One of our responsibilities as trustees is to make sure that we are investing the assets wisely and thoughtfully,” said longtime trustee Ted Walsh, President & COO, Walsh Insurance Group. “But as a small foundation we didn’t have the resources. We found that in the more challenging, volatile times, we weren’t getting the kind of returns that we wanted.”

Ultimately, Walsh and the other trustees made the decision to transfer the Goodyear Foundation to the Community Foundation where their assets could be combined with its $160 million asset pool. Their choice was clear once they learned they could maintain the Goodyear Foundation’s independent identity and continue to direct grants in its name to support the original mission set forth by the Goodyear family.

“In terms of the grant giving, that hasn’t changed much at all. We still have the ability to make our own decisions and lots of flexibility. As trustees, we feel very empowered,” said Walsh. The Goodyear Foundation has also taken advantage of the Community Foundation’s knowledge of local nonprofits and the co-funding opportunities it offers, by partnering with it to support the East Delavan Library and Read to Succeed Buffalo.

“When you are a smaller fund or foundation, one of your worries is that you aren’t big enough to make a difference. But, if you are able to align your efforts with others, you can feel comfortable that you are making a difference,” added Bill Gisel, President and Chief Executive Officer Rich Products Corporation and Member of the Josephine Goodyear Foundation Advisory Council.

According to Walsh – “I think Mrs. Goodyear would be very proud of what we’ve done over the years and with what we’ve been able to do through the Community Foundation.”

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