Our Organization


Jessie F. Richardson

JFRF’s founder and CEO, Dr. Keren Brown Wilson, was motivated to set up the foundation in the mid 1970s because of words spoken by her mother, Jessie F. Richardson. She asked her daughter, “Why don’t you do something to help people like me?” At the time, Dr. Wilson was a graduate student in gerontology and her mother was a 65-year-old nursing home resident. Her mother’s words directed the course of Dr. Wilson’s professional work with frail, low-income elders. JFRF became an operating foundation in 2002. We are funded by individual, corporate and foundation donors, in addition to grants and contracts for services performed. The Board of Directors and Advisory Council receive no compensation for their work. JFRF is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization registered in the state of Oregon and our EIN is 93-1316345.


At our core, JFRF works to improve conditions for vulnerable older adults in developing areas and the communities in which they live. Our mission best describes how we do this: The Jessie F. Richardson Foundation empowers communities, in resource constrained areas, to provide multi-generational support for underserved older adults.


We succeed in achieving our mission by investing in long-term partnerships to build capacity in local communities. We listen and seek to understand the needs within communities, then promote the development of effective, culturally sensitive, and sustainable solutions by utilizing available resources. JFRF is constantly working with and seeking new partner organizations and individuals to enhance our skills and process knowledge to improve execution of our model. We strive to work with communities to strengthen human assets and organizational processes so that both can support collective community priorities.


JFRF has a proven model and methodology to help communities develop a multi-generational, sustainable network of resources to support vulnerable older adults. We utilize a theory of change model adapted using the principles of asset based community development. We leverage existing community resources and develop targeted programs and services that focus on strengthening local organizations.


The world is aging rapidly; 80% of older adults will live in developing areas around the globe, including within in the United States, by the year 2050. Abject poverty and growing health disparities in these areas ensure premature aging and rob communities of the potential to live lives fully.


Our Board contributes significant amounts of time, talent, and energy to ensure the mission and values of JFRF are upheld, and that we are pointed toward a successful and sustainable future.  Click here to see our current Board of Directors and team.