"Let's start a foundation, different from all other foundations in Atlanta," said businessman and entrepeneur Greg Simmons to Tom Roddy one evening in 1984. The idea was that instead of serving as a reservoir for assets, ARF would serve as a conduit to bring people with resources, both monetary and time together with those who are not as fortunate. "People will be the assests: we won't make grants. A person's involvement will be the grant."
ARF shall be a conduit, not a reservoir. It is the task of ARF to stay closely involved with both the giver and the recipient, in order to assure meeting the needs of both parties. ARF may serve as a conduit for start-up, nonprofit ministries that meet our mission goals, such as Quest Atlanta '96, Young Atlantans, Buckhead Fellowship and East Lake Commons.
"Two or Three Together in My Name." Tom felt that they needed more business people involved, so he went to see Billy Mitchell. Tom and Billy had been in the same fellowship group since the early 1970's. ARF was seeking a place to hold meetings and Billy Mitchell gave the new Foundation a place to meet at the offices of Carter and Associates on Spring Street.
Business Ministry Mix: Tom wanted to have a mix of ministry and business, so he invited Bob Lupton and Neil Shorthouse, both who had extensive ministry experience, to get involved.
Partnerships:"Let us partner with whomever we can." Alicia Philip of the Metropolitan Community Foundation, (now The Community Foundation), allowed the still unnamed ARF to come under their foundation as a designated fund. They could make grants to projects the ARF was involved in, but could not pay salaries or expenses. Tom and Greg turned to the Christian Council of Metropolitan Atlanta and its then director Don Newby. Tom Roddy became a staff member on the Council with responsibilities to the still unnamed group.
A Name: Tom and Greg, still looking for a name for their new foundation, thought about the name "Atlanta Leadership Foundation". They really wanted to work with both leaders and followers. They wanted to be a conduit for resources. Therefore, they decided upon "Atlanta Resource Foundation".
Encouraging Friends By Getting Together