General Charles Duff and Mrs. Sallie Duff established the Joseph Henry Edmondson Foundation in 1987 as a private foundation to provide general charitable 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.
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 in the task of shaping the guidelines and policies necessary 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, however, the Edmondson Foundation board elected to hire its first, full-time executive director, Heather Carroll, who has served in that capacity since 1998.
Today, many continue to benefit from the Duff’s generous philanthropy. Since its inception, the Edmondson Foundation has awarded grants in excess of $13,000,000 throughout the greater Colorado Springs community. These gifts supported over 300 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.