The Bowling Green Community Foundation began as a project considered by the members of the 1993 Leadership BG charter class, but was later completed by five of its members. Marcia Latta, Lee Hakel, Jon Klever, John Harden, and Joyce Horton met bi-weekly for nearly eighteen months to research other community foundations, develop a marketing plan, as well as to determine its service area boundaries, its method of operation, and its goals. They spoke to service clubs, recruited charter trustees, and solicited funds. It was also decided to align the Foundation with the Toledo Community Foundation for investment purposes, but to maintain the Board's control of fundraising and the distribution of funds. The agreement with TCF was signed on December 22, 1994.
Dorothy and Ashel Bryan gave the BGCF $5,000 as seed money to start its operation. With the assistance of an anonymous donor's gift of $25,000 and a legacy gift from John Davidson, the Board raised $100,000 by June 30, 1996. A plaque listing charter year donors is on display in the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Office. The Foundation awarded its first grants to non-profit organizations in 1997 and continues to do so annually in late fall of each year.