Ohio University Foundation

The Ohio University Foundation was established in 1945 by supporters of Ohio University including and encouraged by then-President John C. Baker. The Foundation is an institutionally-related, nonprofit, tax exempt, 501(c)(3) organization, and is the repository for all private gifts to Ohio University through annual giving programs, capital and special campaigns, and planned or deferred gifts such as bequests and trusts. Contributions to The Ohio University Foundation are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.

Private philanthropy has had a rich and dramatic impact on Ohio University from as early as 1816 when Christopher and Daniel Herrold forgave the debt for the lumber used to build Cutler Hall, to several, more recent capital campaigns. Gifts from generous donors have provided for scholarships and financial aid packages, research and faculty development, capital expansion and renovations, technology upgrades and lab equipment, library acquisitions, and vital unrestricted support that has allowed Ohio University to meet unexpected challenges.

Ohio University Foundation logo
Nico Karagosian headshot.

Nico Karagosian
President and CEO, Ohio University Foundation
Vice President, University Advancement

209 Konneker Alumni Center
Athens, OH 45701

Tel: 740.593.2636
Fax: 740.593.0217

Welcome! I’m so glad that you have an interest in The Ohio University Foundation.

The Foundation’s mission is simple, really: Philanthropy in Service to Education.

What these simple words from the Foundation’s charter mean to Ohio University is tremendous. Since its inception in 1945, The Foundation has been a partner in the University's mission of education, research, and service, and this partnership touches every part of the University today.

With your help, the Foundation serves OHIO’s students, faculty, staff, and programs. Today, generous alumni and friends contribute an average of $40 million to OHIO annually, and the endowments that support the University have grown to more than $650 million.

Consider all that this philanthropy has made possible over the past 70-plus years. All across OHIO’s campuses, your generosity makes learning and discovery possible. And, makes individual dreams of achieving a degree a reality. From scholarships, fellowships, and professorships to academic programs and facility upgrades, these gifts sustain OHIO’s people and help to secure its future.

While there are countless donors whose generosity is humbling, here are a few donors and gifts that have transformed OHIO and continue to impact today’s students, faculty, and programs:

Name Amount
Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ $132 million
Osteopathic Heritage Foundation $119 million
Dr. Violet L. Patton $64 million
Scripps Howard Foundation $20 million

Our goal is to inspire philanthropy and to earn your meaningful investment in OHIO—building a mutually beneficial relationship with the power to transform lives. With your support, we can continue to fulfill our mission every day.

I hope you’ll explore our Foundation and University Advancement websites to learn more about how you can help OHIO offer the best student-centered learning experience in America.

If you have any questions or concerns—or if I can help you make a difference for OHIO—please feel free to contact me at nico@ohio.edu.

Nico Karagosian

Gift Commitments

The numbers below reflect total gift commitments for fiscal years 2008-2022. 

Fiscal Year Gifts & Commitments Donors
2022 $44.153 million 15,804
2021 $40.861 million 14,128

$49.881 million



$29.599 million



$27.869 million


2017 $30.416 million 17,773
2016 $30.471 million 19,996
2015 $35.538 million 19,826
2014 $36.681 million 19,859
2013 $25.852 million 21,511
2012 $55.525 million 22,783
2011 $130.5 million 22,468
2010 $53.4 million 24,183
2009 $46.7 million 24,273
2008 $88.6 million 25,735

Upcoming Meetings


Save the date for these upcoming Foundation Board meetings:

  June 20-22, 2023 - Chicago
  Nov. 2-3, 2023 - Athens


Non-Profit Status

The Ohio University Foundation, then known as The Ohio University Fund, was incorporated in October 1945 and was granted 501(c)(3) status as a non-profit organization by the Internal Revenue Service in 1955. Contributions to The Ohio University Foundation are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.

The Ohio University Foundation’s EIN: 31-6402269

Ohio University Foundation Tax Exempt Letter

Candid Platinum Seal of Transparency

The Ohio University Foundation has earned the 2023 Candid Platinum Seal of Transparency, the highest designation possible. The seal indicates that we share clear and important information with the public about our goals, strategies, capabilities, achievements and progress indicators. This is the third consecutive year we have earned the platinum seal from Candid (formerly Guidestar).  

View our strategy, metrics and achievement

Give with Confidence

The Ohio University Foundation is proud to share that our strong financial health and ongoing accountability and transparency have earned a 90/100 rating from Charity Navigator’s Encompass Rating System. This score designates The Foundation as an official “Give with Confidence” charity, indicating that our organization is using its donations effectively based on Charity Navigator’s criteria. The Encompass Rating System is a comprehensive evaluation tool that analyzes nonprofit performance based on four key indicators, referred to as beacons. Currently, nonprofits can earn scores for the Finance & Accountability, Impact & Results, Culture & Community, and Leadership & Adaptability beacons.

view our Charity Navigator rating