Burton D. Morgan Foundation's New Strategic Plan

We are excited to announce the outcomes of our year-long strategic planning process.  The new strategic plan will govern Foundation operations and guide programming and grantmaking through 2026.

Throughout the intensive planning process, the intent and values of founder Burt Morgan were at the forefront of all deliberations and discussions. A serial entrepreneur, Burt prioritized entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship education, and the free enterprise system.  He once wrote, “The fundamental purpose of The Burton D. Morgan Foundation is to preserve and encourage the United States’ greatest asset, the Free Enterprise System.” Morgan’s philosophy and beliefs inspired and shaped the foundation’s 2024-2026 strategic plan.

While charting a course for the next several years, Morgan Foundation staff and trustees developed a refined mission statement and defined new guiding principles, core values, and strategic priorities.

Our new mission statement is “Strengthening free enterprise by investing in people and entities that embody the entrepreneurial spirit.”  Burton D. Morgan Foundation has become synonymous with entrepreneurship, and it will continue to support the education and growth of entrepreneurs in the coming years.  The Foundation will continue its support of entrepreneurial skill-building through YIPPEE Exchange, a market-based approach to philanthropy which connects K-12 educators to a host of free entrepreneurship education resources and to one another.  The Foundation will also continue to support startups through educational programs for adults who wish to begin a small business or need help to grow their venture.

Additionally, the Foundation will become more intentional about prioritizing free enterprise programming and educating stakeholders and the community about its benefits.  The free enterprise system is the engine that drives American ingenuity and a key to unlocking human potential, driving economic and societal progress, and solving the world’s greatest challenges.

Board Chairman Richard Seaman stated, “Our recently appointed President and CEO, Dan Hampu, prioritized the strategic planning process during his first year.  He actively engaged Morgan staff and trustees to create a more focused strategic direction for our grant dollars that better reflects Burt Morgan’s belief in the free enterprise system and that will enhance the growth of second stage businesses in Northeast Ohio.  The Board wants our grant dollars to make a real difference consistent with Burt’s vision.  The process led by Dan achieved excellent strategic alignment with the trustees, his leadership team, and his actively engaged staff.”

Morgan Foundation will also be more deliberate in our approach to supporting entrepreneurs, one of the Foundation’s highest priorities.   Foundation dollars will be deployed to support programming that puts capital in the hands of entrepreneurs, which is one of the most critical and unmet needs of Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial community.

While the Foundation will continue to support programming for entrepreneurs of all stages, greater emphasis will be placed on supporting second stage businesses, entrepreneurial companies with revenues between $1 million and $50 million and a desire to grow.  Second stage businesses are critical to job creation and a healthy regional economy.  Morgan Foundation believes there is a scarcity in programming for this important subset of entrepreneurs and we intend to fill that gap. 

To spur the growth of these companies, the Foundation is partnering with Edward Lowe Foundation to provide a suite of programs aimed at second stage businesses, following a successful pilot in 2023.  These programs will complement the tremendously effective Scalerator NEO program, co-funded by Burton D. Morgan Foundation and the Fasenmyer Fund. 

President and CEO Dan Hampu commented, “We are excited about the new direction of the Foundation, which includes further alignment with Burt’s intent. We’ve been a part of building fields in the past and are excited to continue this work by strengthening the free enterprise system and entrepreneur education and support.  Initial conversations and pilots in these areas have been catalysts to these new priorities.”

Prior to the development of this plan, our focus has been on building Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, which has developed into a healthy and robust community.  The Foundation has been an effective field builder and we believe that we can now make a more profound and sustainable impact on Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial community by increasing our focus and taking aim at where we can make the most difference.

View a summary of Burton D. Morgan Foundation’s 2024-2026 Strategic Plan.