The Smale Family Foundation was founded in 2004 by John and Phyllis Smale. In a letter announcing the formation of the Foundation to the family, John wrote, "Our decision reflects the belief we have always had that we should recognize our good fortune in life and give back to the community."
He went on to write, "The breadth of the Family Foundation's giving capacity is purposely relatively narrow. It seems to us that it is important to focus what giving capacity we have in order to have our gifts provide as much impact as possible."
Initially, the Foundation's sole focus was on the advancement of disadvantaged and learning disabled children in the Greater Cincinnati area, but in 2007, enhancing the beauty of the city's parks and green spaces was included as a result of Phyllis' passion for gardening and acutely green thumb.
Today, The Smale Family Foundation's mission is to dedicate gifts exclusively to 501(c)(3) qualified charities in perpetuity. The principal focus of the Family Foundation's giving is to be directed towards:
- Children in the Greater Cincinnati area with learning disabilities principally attributed, but not exclusively reflecting, dyslexia.
- Helping young children, prenatal to age 5, who live in economically disadvantaged homes to be prepared to succeed in school from first grade and beyond.
- Enhancing the beauty of parks and green spaces in the city of Cincinnati.