The Nord Family Foundation is a successor to a charitable trust established in 1952 by the entrepreneur and industrialist W.G. Nord. Mr. Nord and his family believed that it was both responsible and prudent for a business to invest in the community it served, and formed a private foundation to be consistent in that investment even as the business reflected the cyclical nature of its earnings.
The U.S. Automatic (and later Nordson ) Foundation contributed more than $12 million to a wide variety of charitable causes between 1953 and 1988, primarily in Lorain County, Ohio. Walter Nord’s widow left the bulk of her estate to the Foundation, which consisted largely of stock in Nordson Corporation. In 1988, Nordson Foundation was dissolved, and The Nord Family Foundation was one of two entities created to follow it.
Members of the Nord Family Foundation consist of the adult descendants of Walter and Virginia  Nord as well as their spouses and adopted children. Now numbering more than forty five persons, they meet annually to participate in the development of the Foundation’s policies and grant making strategies, and to elect the Board of Trustees. Nine of the Trustees are chosen from the Membership; three additional Trustees are drawn from the community at large.
In more than twenty years of activity, The Nord Family Foundation has contributed more than $89 million for charitable and philanthropic purposes in Lorain County and in several other communities of interest to the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of Walter and Virginia Nord.
The Nord Family Foundation grants to non-profit organizations qualified under Section 501 c 3 of the Internal Revenue Code and to selected public sector activities. Grants are awarded in the fields of Arts and Culture, Civic Affairs, Education and Health and Social Services. Most grants are made for program related activities, with some grants to support capital improvements and capital campaigns when special criteria are met. Grant seekers are encouraged to review a copy of our annual report(s), the latest of which is available for download at the adjacent icon.
Projects that are directed at the root causes of social problems are of special interest.
In general, the Foundation does NOT award grants in support of:
Grants are occasionally made for capital purposes when specific criteria are met.
The Foundation awards grants primarily in the environs of Lorain County, Ohio, with additional support in Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Cleveland and the surrounding area). Particular attention is given to Cuyahoga County non-profits that provide services to Lorain County residents. Additionally, the Foundation grants to non-profits located in areas where voting members of the Foundation reside. The Foundation makes occasional grants to organizations with a national or international focus.
The staff of The Nord Family Foundation is available to discuss prospective proposal ideas, assist potential applicants during the preparation process, and answer questions. The Foundation also maintains a library of reference materials, annual reports, periodicals, and proposal-writing tools available for use by not-for-profit organizations. The library is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays for the purpose of conducting research on funding sources and program ideas.
The Board of Trustees meets three times per year and all grants are approved or ratified during one of those meetings. Proposals are accepted for consideration in accordance with the schedule printed above. Grant seekers are encouraged to read our annual reports to develop further understanding of the types of programs supported in the past. There are two libraries that also serve as local resources:
For additional information please contact the following:
The Foundation offices are open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m Eastern time.
The Nord Family Foundation is a private family foundation located in Amherst Ohio, about thirty miles west of Cleveland. The foundation distributes approximately four million dollars per-year to qualified charitable organizations in Lorain and Cuyahoga Counties, Ohio. Additionally, trustees consider requests from nonprofit organizations in communities where voting members of the foundation reside. A very small number of grants are made to organizations of a national or international focus. Grants are made in response to formal proposals submitted online through this website. All grant decisios are made by the board of trustees. Virginia and Walter Nord
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