History

Foundation History

The John T. Vucurevich Foundation, a private independent foundation as described in Sections 501(c)(3) and 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, awarded its first grant in 1989 and became fully funded in 2007 following the death of its founder, John T. Vucurevich. John was born in Yugoslavia in 1912 and at the age of eight, immigrated to the United States with his parents. His family, including his two brothers, Milan and Alex, settled in Lead, SD where John attended public school until 10th grade. He worked in a variety of jobs and owned several businesses, but his real passion became banking after purchasing his first bank in 1951. He also owned numerous real estate investments throughout his lifetime. John was a generous philanthropist to a variety of causes during his life and he wanted his philanthropy continued through his Foundation after his death.

Since John’s passing in 2005, the Foundation has transitioned from a small, part-time Foundation co-located at his corporate office, the United Corporation building, to a permanent Foundation whose office is located at 2800 Jackson Boulevard, Rapid City, South Dakota and is currently staffed with four full-time employees. His brother, Alex Vucurevich, served as a Board member until his passing in 2008. Alex’s invaluable service provided a personal connection to John and his philanthropic work.

John’s Foundation will carry out his philanthropic vision utilizing his values of honesty, integrity, loyalty and inclusiveness. In order to assure John’ philanthropic intent is captured, Vantage Point Historical Services was commissioned in 2014 to develop an internal operating document so future leadership of John’s Foundation will have an understanding and history of past funding in both geographic and programmatic areas identified as priorities by John. From the inception of the Foundation in 1985, through 2006, approximately $5 million in grants were awarded. Grants awarded from 2007 going forward will be approximately $4 – $5 million annually.