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A lifelong Oklahoma City resident, Steve Mason\'s first brush with the Oklahoma City Community Foundation came while he was serving on a committee designed to figure out what metro schoolchildren could do after the school day was complete.
A lifelong Oklahoma City resident, Steve Mason's first brush with the Oklahoma City Community Foundation came while he was serving on a committee designed to figure out what metro schoolchildren could do after the school day was complete.
It was there that former foundation program officer Sam Bowman - now Ward 2 city councilman - instructed him on what the foundation was really all about.
For six years, Mason worked on after-school program options for metro students. Years later, he's now in charge of a foundation that manages 1,000 different funds, with assets totaling more than $550 million.
"First of all, it's a privilege to be president of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation," says Mason, who took the reigns of the charity this summer. "It's an important community asset in that we're a bank for about $550 million of assets of our community's money. It's a lot of charitable money, and it's a lot of money that donors have put there with an intent of how it should be managed and used in our community."
Established in 1969 through oilman John E. Kirkpatrick, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation serves as 501(c)(3) charity through which donors can make an impact on the community. And 90% of what it does is following the donor intent, Mason says.
From planting trees through the Margaret Annis Boys Trust to handing out scholarships through the state's largest independent scholarship program, the foundation's reach extends deep into the community.
Typical foundations have their assets - lock, stock and barrel - controlled by boards of trustees. Mason says the foundation differs in that 90% of funds are donor directed, and only the remaining 10% available at the board's discretion.
"We have a very strong board, and the president is the first among equals in that regard," says Nancy Anthony, the foundation's executive director. "Steve has been very involved