The John F. Nagel Foundation was started in 1989 by the family who owned the Pepsi-Cola franchise in southwestern Idaho for 113 years. The foundation was named to honor the memory of the son and grandson of the founder of Nagel Beverage Company, John Henry Nagel, who started the business in 1895.
As family members and the business contributed to the foundation over time, annual contributions to the community increased. By 1997, the foundation gave $250,000 to 17 community organizations. It gave over $500,000 in grants in 2003, and reached $1 million in annual grants by 2007.
Over this time, family members ceded control of foundation operations to two trusted managers, company Vice President Vance Miller and division manager Curt Goldgrabe.
Changing trends in the beverage business led to the sale of Nagel Beverage Company in 2009. Vance and Curt left the Pepsi business to focus solely on the foundation. There was a renewed focus on the purpose and mission of the foundation, and they moved the foundation office to Eagle, Idaho.
As president, Vance organized the foundation into two areas. He led the new investment team with Ryan Fornstrom, while Curt assumed the Executive Director role.
Organizations funded by the foundation are considered the “hands and feet” of the foundation—doing the work that cannot be done by a three-member board. Many funded organizations share a common trait—they have large numbers of volunteers who give of their time and resources because they believe in their organization's mission and impact.
Today, the foundation's continued focus is on helping meet basic human needs through education, housing and supportive services, medical care and youth programming. It is the intent of the board to operate the foundation in perpetuity, and to ultimately give back more to the community than the family put into the foundation.