Rick and Vicki James were presented with the highest honor which a Governor of Indiana can bestow – the Sagamore of the Wabash Award.  It is given to citizens of Indiana who have demonstrated wisdom, public commitment, and concern for the well-being of others.  Rick and Vicki demonstrate their faith and dedication to their community each day by sharing not just funds, but knowledge and mentorship with citizens every day.

Mission Statement

The James Foundation, Inc. believes that by serving as civic stewards, quality of life will be enriched acting as a catalyst to undertakings that strengthen both families and community.  By enhancing existing social platforms and providing new educational and cultural opportunities, citizens will be empowered and inspired to initiate and cultivate positive change in all life experiences, nourishing vitality across the community.

Founders’ Statement

The James Foundation was established by Rick L. and Vicki L James to provide support and innovation to their community, educational opportunities, and youth.

The Foundation believes that it can have its greatest impact by supporting the organizations that have the passion, expertise, and dedicated staff and volunteers to successfully implement its mission.

Rick and Vicki believe that support for education and early childhood development can have great impact in helping persons to reach their full potential. This goal, coupled with a Christ-like attitude of caring and generosity, can lead to positive and lasting change in a person’s life.  In turn, this aids a community in improving its quality of life and place.

Maintaining and improving our natural environment, through the support of such groups as the National Parks Foundation, benefits youth and communities at large by providing awareness of our past and opportunities to preserve and improve these resources.

Since its beginning, The James Foundation has supported over 180 organizations with grants in excess of $100 million.  Its primary geographical focus is Northeast Indiana, but its support has included national organizations that are effective in impacting the Foundation’s goals.  In 2023, through its Grant-A-Day initiative, the Foundation has committed to making a $1,000 grant every day of the year to worthy charities who are making an impact in Northeast Indiana and beyond. These are often over-looked smaller organizations that are nonetheless having significant impact on those they serve.  Additionally, the Foundation awards four-year and two-year scholarships totaling approximately $100,000 annually to college-bound high school graduates as well as those advancing career opportunities through technical and trades degrees and certifications.

Some of the recipients of the Foundation’s grants include: the DeKalb Central Schools Early Childhood Program, Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, James Cultural Plaza, YMCA of DeKalb County, Fort Wayne Rescue Mission, Bridge of Grace, Eckhart Public Library, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Easterseals RISE, Boys and Girls Club of Fort Wayne, and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic to name a few.