Clay H. Osborne was the recipient of the Rochester Area Community Foundation’s highest honor, the Joe U. Posner Founders Award, Thursday at the organization’s 2019 Philanthropy Awards and Annual Report to the Community Luncheon,
Osborne, who retired as vice president for human resources at Bausch & Lomb after an 18-year career there, worked as director of operations for Monroe County prior.
Born and raised in Panama, Osborne, his sister, and brother came to the United States to get an education. While working at the New York State Division for Youth and after receiving his master’s degree from State University at Albany, Osborne came to Rochester, serving in various roles and later becoming regional director for Upstate New York.
A former Community Foundation board member and currently an executive coach and consultant on organizational effectiveness, Osborne has offered his expertise to many other nonprofit boards. He is a founding member of the Foundation’s African American Giving Initiative, he also helped launch the Workforce Diversity Network and True Networking Thursdays for African American professionals.
Osborne has been a consistent supporter of Rochester’s Child and the Great Schools for All movement, and has worked on the volunteer civic design team for the Greater Rochester Parent Leadership Training Institute. He and his wife, Dorelis, live in Pittsford. They have two sons and a third grandchild expected to arrive in December.
Along with Osborne, others who received a Philanthropy Award were Laura “Jinny” Loomis and Dr. Norman Loomis of Ontario, Wayne County, and Harold Samloff, also of Pittsford. All honorees received a bronze loving cup designed by the late Wendell Castle.
During the luncheon, attended by 560 guests, the Community Foundation announced that it awarded a record high $37 million in grants during its fiscal year.
That record high amount is a result of 6,943 grants awarded between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019 through the competitive grant process led by the Foundation’s Program-Distributions Committee and Board of Directors and hundreds of other competitive and donor-specified grantmaking opportunities.
The generosity of donors also led to another record — the opening of 98 new charitable funds by individuals, families, and organizations who want to support their favorite causes or nonprofit organizations, help their communities, and provide for those most in need.
Last year, there was a great deal of uncertainty over how the new federal tax laws would affect charitable giving by individuals. However, “giving to the Community Foundation reached nearly $29 million, an increase of more than $1 million over the previous year,” said Mollene Benison, CPA, a Community Foundation board member who presented the financial state of the foundation.
Benison also reported that the Foundation finished the year with assets of $477 million, down less than 3 percent from last year’s record high of $492 million. This decline, the first time in a decade, was due to market volatility and the fact that the Foundation awarded that record amount of grants. Fortunately, Benison added, the Foundation has recovered more than half of that decline since April.