History of the Potts Family Foundation

1981 – 2000

Community Resource Development Foundation (CRDF)

The Community Resource Development Foundation was created in 1980 by Ray and Pat Potts as an operating foundation to pay it forward to provide financial support for the provision of management training and assistance for nonprofits matching their good intentions with tools to produce good results. A separate 501(c)(3) called the Support Center was created to provide those services.

Original photo of the Potts Family Foundation building.

Reflecting the intent to involve the family in philanthropy, the original members of the CRDF board were: Steve, Mark, Larry, Paula, Pat and Ray Potts along with John Trudgeon, friend and legal guide. Susan and Kathy Potts, spouses of family members, we added not long after. 

CRDF owned the building which was used by the Support Center (now known as the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits) as a Shared Service Center housing a maximum of 12 small organizations.  A library, meeting room and receptionist services were provided along with the use of office equipment. An arson fire in 1989 caused dislocation. Bank of America generously provided office space on one floor for all of the organizations during the five month restoration.

2000 – Present

Potts Family Foundation (PFF)

Before Pat retired in 2000, after 20 years as Executive Director of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, the CRDF underwent reorganization and became Potts Family Foundation, a supporting nonprofit. This change granted the ability to expand the focus of giving to beneficiaries of Oklahoma community foundations across the state. 

In addition to the support of nonprofit management and governance help, PFF added over the years a focus on early childhood development and wellbeing with an emphasis on root causes and the desire to:

  • Empower people and organizations
  • Impact future, as well as present, human needs
  • Leverage resources for the greatest impact
  • Secure sustainability and the potential replication of evidence-based programs and services
New Office

From 2000 to 2015, Pat served as the Chair of the Board ably assisted by a series of executive directors. In 2015, she moved from Board Chair to President/CEO and the foundation became a private foundation adapting to changing regulations and evolving activities. The PFF Board Chair now rotates between community and family members. 

In 2017, upon Pat’s retirement, Craig Knutson was named President/CEO. At the same time, the office moved from the Research Parkway, where it had been housed with Presbyterian Health Foundation for several years, to its current location on East Britton Road. The building is shared with Potts Exploration.

The Potts family has been blessed with outstanding partners over the past quarter century – both individuals and organizations. Several thousand organizations have received services and/or grants totaling several million dollars since PFF’s inception.

The family (all three generations), staff and Board of Directors feel privileged to pass on the blessings they’ve experienced living and working in Oklahoma!