Along with Sir Bryan and Andrew Todd, Sir John established the Todd Foundation in 1972 and became its Chairman in 1987. The Foundation provided a formal structure for the Todd family’s philanthropic giving. Sir John took an active interest in the Foundation’s work. He nurtured its grant programme and, until it employed specialised staff, also managed it personally. During his time as Chairman he ensured the Foundation became more focussed, more proactive in its giving and more engaged with those seeking its assistance. He often met with those receiving Foundation grants, or hopeful recipients, so he could better understand their needs and how those needs were being met.
Following retirement from business Sir John remained as Chairman of the Todd Foundation and continued in the role until only weeks before his passing. He championed the Foundation and other family giving to the end.
Sir John will be remembered for carrying off his family, philanthropic and business roles with integrity, skill and grace. He never forgot his life was blessed and embraced making the lives of others better.
Read Sir John’s story of philanthropy as presented to the 2009 Philanthropy NZ conference.