After a conversation with Howard Firth in the late 1970's, Rolf Hougen realized there was no organization that existed in the Yukon that could accept the proceeds of an estate for the benefit of the people of the Yukon. Rolf Hougen invited several long time Yukoners to participate in creating a body that could accept donations from wills or in honour of relatives or friends. In December 1980, seventeen Yukon men and women agreed to contribute their names and $100.00 to establish the Yukon Foundation, using the Vancouver Foundation (established in 1950) as a model.
The founding members of the Yukon Foundation are:
Ione Christensen, Laurent Cyr, Belle Desrosier, William L Drury, Robert Erlam, Thomas Firth, Charles Halliday, Rolf Hougen, Lorraine Joe, Roy Minter, Hon. Erik Nielsen, Willard Phelps, Gordon Ryder, James Smith, Aubrey Tanner, Charlie Taylor, Flo Whyard The Yukon Foundation is registered under the Societies Ordinance of the Yukon Territory and it's objectives are based on time honoured standards:
"The objects of the Foundation are to promote educational advancement and scientific or medical research for the enhancement of human knowledge; to support, which may be in the discretion of the Board, contribute to the mental, cultural and physical well-being of the residents of the Yukon Territory. In order to attain these objectives, the Yukon Foundation is empowered: to receive bequests, devices and donations of every kind and description whatsoever, and hold, control, administer and deal with property of every kind and description, whether real or personal, and whatsoever situate."