The Needmor Fund was founded in 1956 by Duane Stranahan, a member of the Stranahan family that formed the Champion Spark Plug Company, and his wife Virginia Secor Stranahan who came from a wealthy Ohio family.
The Needmor Fund is still operated by the Stranahan family as of 2019 and supports left-wing community organizing. The Needmor Fund held $21,237,780 worth of assets in 2015.
The Needmor Fund was founded in 1956 by Duane and Virginia Secor Stranahan. The couple used money earned from the Champion Sparkplug Company, founded by the Stranahan family, to fund grants given by the Needmor Fund.
Although Duane and Virginia Secor Stranahan initially used the fund to grant money to causes they believed in, other family members soon became integral in deciding what to fund. According to Sarah Stranahan, one of Duane and Virginia’s grandchildren, Duane did “not control the decisions,” as multiple family members would vote on Needmor Fund grants.
The Needmor Fund focused on four main areas, “education, social justice, environment, and population,” until the 1980s when it switched to focus on community organizing. This is still the focus of the foundation, and the Stranahan family continues to operate it as of 2019.
According to the foundation’s tax returns, Needmor Fund earned just under $3.5 million in 2014, $3.4 million in 2015, and $1.5 million in 2016. The majority of Needmor Fund’s money is earned through the foundation’s sale of assets, the proceeds of which amount to 63% of the money received in 2014 and 2015. Despite the foundation’s reliance on selling assets, the total worth of its assets has been increasing per year. The Needmor Fund had $19,242,138 in total assets in 2013, $20,383,381 in 2014, and $21,237,780 in 2015.
Most of Needmor Fund’s expenses come from charitable disbursements. Nearly 90% of the foundation’s annual expenses come in the form of disbursements. Needmor Fund spent $2,027,845 (88.6% of total expenses) on charitable disbursements in 2014, and $2,255,050 (88.7% of total expenses) in 2015.
The Needmor Fund began in 1956 by focusing on education, social justice, environmental issues, and population before switching its focus to community organizing in the 1980s. Since the 1980’s the foundation has granted money to a multitude of organizations.
One of the most well-known organizations funded by Needmor was the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), which shut down in 2010 after allegations of voter fraud and other unsavory practices surfaced.
The Needmor Fund donated approximately $150,000 annually to Toledo-based groups affiliated with ACORN from 2000 until June 2008 after the community group faced accusations of embezzlement. The Needmor Fund resumed funding ACORN affiliates in September 2008 after the group took corrective action.
Currently, the Needmor Fund grants money to organizations such as the Jeremiah Group, Colorado People’s Alliance, and Common Ground.
The foundation filed a shareholder resolution with Wells Fargo in 2016 calling for the roles of Chairman and Chief Executive to be split between two people. The Needmor Fund claims to own 2,225 Wells Fargo shares.
The Needmor Fund won an award for small/midsize foundations from the far-left National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) in 2015. Other winners included the Brooklyn Community Foundation, Blue Shield of California Foundation, and Open Society Foundations.