The National Association of Business Economists Foundation was established in 2004 by the then-current NABE President Duncan Meldrum who strongly believed that NABE should take on philanthropic activities related to the profession.
A 501(c)(3) established the Foundation and Jack Kleinhenz served as its first chair in 2004. In 2005, the Advisory Board of the Foundation commenced regular meetings and discussing the mission of the Foundation and its purpose. A mission statement was drafted, and in 2006, the Foundation began funding some small initiatives including a local high school project in Houston, and partnering with the Federal Reserve Board in support of economics education in high schools.
In 2007, The Foundation launched own web sites and initiated its first public solicitation for funds. NABE members quickly embraced the cause and answered the call for donations.
Today, The Foundation continues to support numerous scholarship initiatives, including scholarships to NABE sponsored events such as the Economic Policy Conference, the Economic Measurement Seminar and the Annual Meeting. Over the years, generous individuals have come forward to support other scholarship initiatives through The Foundation. The Foundation supports various awards such as the Edward G. Mennis Contributed Paper Award and the Adam Smith Lecture. The Foundation also helps develop the next generation of economists in hosting the Economic Measurement Seminar and supporting NABE's educational activities.