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Our History


The J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation, a supporting organization of the Vermont Community Foundation, was established in 1995 to continue the tradition of collaborative, entrepreneurial philanthropy practiced by the McClures. The following was written by the late J. Warren McClure in his book, "Hands-On" Philanthropy:

My name is J. Warren McClure, or Mac, for short. I’m just an ordinary guy from the hills of southern Ohio who married one of the smartest women reared by the shores of Lake Champlain in northern Vermont. Lois and I found great success in the newspaper business by working harder and smarter and by building on the ideas of other people. What is more important, we’ve built a more complete life by sharing these ideas—and the wealth we’ve gained from them—with others.

I wish I could have originated the concept of “giving with warm hands.” Years ago I heard this phrase and I believe it was attributed to a wealthy lady who was describing her mother’s philosophy of giving. This concept has been an important stimulant to Lois and me.

When we give when we are alive, while our hands are warm, several things happen. First, we can see good works being accomplished and can experience the thrill of helping others, with the resultant satisfaction of personal achievement. This is among the greatest and most lasting gratification any of us may have. Second, by giving while we are alive, all of us may be able to contribute ideas and can become cheerleaders for those who are responsible for important institutions and projects in our communities.

In addition—and this is very important—when we practice active philanthropy, our children have an opportunity to observe our actions. This helps generosity to come more naturally to them in the future. By giving, all of us provide stimulation in more different ways than we can imagine.