Lloyd and Frances Lochridge Fund
Responding to the Needs of Today
AN UNRESTRICTED FUND PUTS THE POWER OF GIVING IN THE COMMUNITY'S HANDS.
In 1977, only two buildings lit Austin's night sky- the state capitol and the UT tower. Willie Nelson played at the Armadillo World Headquarters, Austin City Limits was a country music TV show, and the city was led by "hippie mayor" Jeff Friedman whose rally cry was "no growth." It was the same year Lloyd Lochridge, a prominent Austin attorney, and friends Beverly Sheffield and George K. Meriwhether met about starting the Austin Community Foundation.
A native Austinite with degrees from Princeton and Harvard, Lochridge and his wife Francis were active in the community, having raised their six children here. Lochridge already knew the power of a community-based approach to giving. During an earlier career stint in Mission, Texas, Lochridge and his wife were touched by the needs in the border town and supported the local "community chest." When he arrived in Austin, Lochridge felt many people giving as one could have a real impact on problems, while also consolidating an overwhelming number of requests individual donors received from worthy causes.
The fund Frances and Lloyd Lochridge began with their savings more than 30 years ago has given back to the community ever since, making a quiet mark on nearly every aspect of the city- from the arts to basic needs, education to the environment, care for the elderly and for animals. As an unrestricted fund, the Lochridge Fund is a community-wide resource with grant decisions made entirely by the Foundation's Board of Governors.
"People have their pet charities," Lochridge says, "but there have got to be some causes that are worthwhile that may not occur to them."
Indeed, given Austin's remarkable growth and change the past 30 years, few could have predicted the city's current pressing problems: transportation, affordable housing, education, dramatically shifting demographics, and the environment. An unrestricted fund at the Austin Community Foundation is available for the community's needs today-and whatever they might be tomorrow.
"I leave it to the Austin Community Foundation to investigate and make decisions," Lochridge says with confidence. Having volunteered himself on the Board for many years, Lochridge knows how conscientious and the thoughtful the Foundation's staff and board members are with the investments they make in our community each year.
From Lochridge's office, Austin looks tidy and green and beautiful, he says. But, it's difficult to imagine that a few blocks away a man may struggle with mental illness and homelessness, a mother might be worrying about how her child is doing in school, and a couple may be discussing care for elderly parents.
"Without the Austin Community Foundation, there wouldn't be as much money going into these good causes," Lochridge explains. "They find donors and things that need attention in this community."