Meredith Erickson


In 1958, George W. Norton, founder and President of WAVE Radio and TV in Louisville Kentucky, established and incorporated the WAVE Foundation. After Mr. Norton's death in 1964, the WAVE Foundation was primarily operated by the Norton family. In 1981, the Nortons sold WAVE Radio and TV, and the Foundation was renamed the George W. Norton Foundation to honor its founder. Jane Morton Norton, widow of Mr. Norton, was named President of the Foundation, and served in that position until her death in 1988. In 1991, the George W. Norton Foundation was again renamed the Norton Foundation in honor of both Mr. and Mrs. Norton.

Janey Newton, grandchild of the Nortons, and Maggie Keith, great grandchild, as well as Brandon Coan, a trusted family friend, now serve as the current directors of the Foundation. Since 1958, the Norton Foundation has granted millions of dollars to the Louisville community. The Foundation helps Louisville realize its full potential by supporting hands-on learning opportunities for children, encouraging them to become self-confident, innovative thinkers, and the future leaders of our community.

Value Statements:


We value education that is holistic and affects
the whole child.


We acknowledge that children learn through direct, hands-on activities. The arts and nature provide rich learning environments to encourage creativity, imagination, and self-confidence.


Sharing cultural experiences builds community and enhances people's lives.


The arts are a vital part of Louisville's economy.


Engaging with nature encourages children to live healthy lifestyles.


We acknowledge the importance of a supportive family structure in a child's healthy development.


We value organizations that engage in sound administrative practices; that have quality and passionate leaders; that track the results of the programs they manage; and that encourage entrepreneurship and innovative thinking in their staff.


Louisville is a place of innovation, economic vitality, and cultural diversity that supports creative education for its children and their families.

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Norton Foundation, Inc., is to make grants designed to enrich the lives of children and adolescents in Louisville, KY.

The Foundation supports experiential and holistic education that encourages their social, emotional, intellectual, physical, and cultural development. The Foundation gives priority to projects and programs that use the arts and nature to achieve this goal

Statement of Principles, as adopted by the Southeastern Council of Foundations:

We will strive to serve the public good.
Foundations exist to serve charitable purposes that the public has determined to be valuable and important. Active consideration and pursuit of the public good should guide every aspect of foundations' grantmaking and institutional life.

We will comply with all laws and regulations.
Foundation trustees and staff should have a clear knowledge and understanding of all laws and regulations that govern their work and comply with both their letter and spirit.

We will be faithful to the intent of our donors and founding mandates.
Foundations are created with monies placed in trust to accomplish specific charitable purposes as set forth in founding documents. Trustees and staff should maintain a clear understanding of their founders' and donors' vision and mission and be guided by this intent. When presented with changing historical contexts unforeseen by founders or donors, trustees should make every effort to bridge the gap with fresh but faithful interpretations of the original mandate.

We will exercise prudent stewardship of resources.
Foundation trustees and staff must meet the highest level of fiduciary responsibility. They should regularly discuss the legal and ethical issues that affect their work and institute policies and practices that assure the avoidance of conflicts of interest, self-dealing and excessive compensation.

We will conduct our work with transparency and openness.
Public trust requires public accountability. Foundations should voluntarily make available information about their activities and the way of working. Trustees and staff should create an environment that encourages open and honest, two-way communication with grant seekers, grant recipients, and the community at large.

We will treat others with respect, fairness and humility.
Foundation trustees and staff should demonstrate high regard for the communities, institutions, and individuals they engage in the course of their work. This includes being respectful of the experience, resources, insights and opinions of others; communicating promptly; handling confidential information appropriately; making informed decisions using clear, consistent guidelines; and embodying humility born of the knowledge that foundations are effective only to the extent that they work in partnership with others.