Paul Clarke Visionary Award

The Paul Clarke Visionary Award was established to honor those who are dedicated to making our community a better place. It is through these individuals that our community continues to grow into a more vibrant and thriving place where everyone has an opportunity to succeed.

The Paul Clarke Visionary Board located at CFGFW.

Award Recipients

The 2019 Paul Clarke Visionary Award Recipient is Kathy Carrier of The Luminous Fund. 

Previous Winners of the Paul Clarke Visionary Award:

  • Howard and Betsy Chapman (2010)
  • Harriett Innskeep (2006)

Who is Paul Clarke?

Paul Clarke began his career as an attorney in private practice for 28 years in Cleveland. At the height of his success in Cleveland, a good friend offered him an opportunity to become corporate counsel and Executive Vice President of a small van line company in Fort Wayne. He accepted and moved to Fort Wayne to receive a salary that was one-third of the pay he had made at his law practice in the previous year. His wife and other friends thought he was crazy. Paul and Helen Clarke moved to Fort Wayne in 1954 where he was key in the growth of North American Van Lines.

When Mr. Clarke retired, he became the Executive Director for the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne. Having served on the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation for a year, he was interested in growing the Community Foundation’s assets. He thought it had the potential to make a great impact in the community.

During his time as Executive Director, he and Mrs. Clarke contributed millions of dollars through stock donations. These contributions accounted for the rapid growth of the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne and eventually created two funds that provide grants to the community: The Paul Clarke Foundation and the Advised Clarke Endowment Fund. As was Mr. Clarke’s plan, The Paul Clarke Foundation transferred its remaining assets to the Advised Clarke Endowment Fund in 2006.  The Clarke Endowment Fund continues to serve our community through grants to area nonprofits.

We thank Paul Clarke for his vision of taking risks, investing in others, trusting and believing in the Community Foundation, and giving time and resources back to our community.

Paul Clarke's Impact

The Paul Clarke Foundation

  • Between 1994 – 2006 (when it closed), provided $12.8 million to nonprofits through 438 grants
  • Focused on grassroots organizations, particularly those serving the south side of Fort Wayne such as the Euell A. Wilson Center & the African/African-American Historical Society of Allen County
  • Also supported capacity building training and consulting for smaller organizations

The Clarke Endowment Fund

  • Was a Donor Advised Fund until the end of 2006, then in 2007, became an unrestricted named fund and was combined with the Paul Clarke Foundation
  • Has granted $22 million since 2001

Combining the two funds, the Clarke Funds have provided almost $35 million in grants since 2001 and still has a balance of $23 million!

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