The Foundation

Pikes Peak

A brief history of the foundation

Our History

General Charles and Mrs. Sallie Duff established the Joseph Henry Edmondson Foundation in 1987 as a private foundation to provide philanthropic support to the Pikes Peak region. After many years of living throughout the United States and the world, the Duffs adopted Colorado Springs as their home. Both Charles and Sallie were active and interested in many aspects of the community, ranging from the welfare of all of its citizens to the arts and the environment.

Laying the Foundation

Committed to the philosophy of quiet giving and content to have their philanthropy remain anonymous during their own lifetimes, the Duffs named the foundation after Sallie’s father, Joseph Henry Edmondson. They also relied on the guidance and support of two key community members who were their friends and expert advisors; Ruth Rouss, an attorney, and Robert Ramsay, an investment advisor. Wishing to remain in the background, the Duffs looked to Ruth and Bob to serve as the leaders and driving force for the Foundation. Both individuals were themselves civic leaders, possessing broad experience within the non-profit sector.

This range of experience and interests, along with their professional expertise, rendered Bob and Ruth ideal colleagues to create and manage the business of a foundation that would carry it into the future, as well as continue to reflect the interests and expectations of its founders. As the demands on the foundation continued to grow, the J.H. Edmondson Foundation board elected to hire its first, full-time executive director, Heather Carroll, who has served in that capacity since 1998.

Our Commitment to the Community

Today, many continue to benefit from the Duff's generous philanthropy. Since inception, the J.H. Edmondson Foundation has awarded grants in excess of $15,000,000 throughout the greater Colorado Springs community. These resources support 100's of nonprofit organizations, which serve the needs of children, youth, the elderly and families, nourish the arts and education, and preserve the natural habitats and beauty of the Pikes Peak region and beyond.

Our Philosophy

In keeping with our founders' philosophy, the Joseph Henry Edmondson Foundation operates with the values of humility, service, and respect at the forefront. We are partners with the nonprofit organizations and fellow funders with whom we work. In partnership, we leverage our dollars, our expertise, our knowledge, our networks, and the vast palette of opportunity that lie before us. We are not only vigilant stewards of the dollars entrusted to us, but also of human capital ~ of people and their talents.

While we employ traditional grantmaking tools, we understand that the philanthropic sector allows for a flexible, agile, and dynamic environment that is apt for the production of creative capital. As such, we also proactively identify, cultivate and support innovation and strategic endeavors.

The Foundation is proud co-founder and tenant of The Philanthropy Collective, a consortium of philanthropic organizations and individuals that exists to learn, share expertise, collaborate, and leverage resources to address our regions most significant challenges and actualize its potential.

Mission and Focus Areas

The Joseph Henry Edmondson Foundation provides funding for nonprofit organizations in the Pikes Peak Region serving to support:

Youth Organizations
Animal Welfare
Health and Human Services
Community Building

Trustees & Staff

  • Heather L. Carroll, President & Executive Director
  • Sean M. Duff, Vice Chair
  • Larry R. Gaddis
  • Sharon A. Hahn, Treasurer & Secretary
  • Carlos Jimenez
  • Sheri Duff-Mertz
  • Katrina L. Miller-Stevens
  • Carolyn S. Ramsay
  • Ben K. Sparks, Chair
Executive Director

Dedicating her career to community building, Heather has 33 years of experience in the philanthropic sector. She is a proud Colorado native, and passionate about exploring its Great Outdoors.