The Kiwanis Club of Nashville held its first organizational meeting on October 25, 1916 and submitted its request to form a club, beginning its community service almost immediately. Its charter was granted and the charter ceremony was subsequently celebrated on February 28, 1917.
The club complied with the requirements of Kiwanis International and the Internal Revenue Service for decades to maintain separate records and accounts for administrative purposes and for its community service mission.
Finally the determination was made in 1999 to incorporate the Priority One Youth Foundation of the Kiwanis Club of Nashville with the Secretary of State of Tennessee. The Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws were subsequently adopted by the club and submitted to the Secretary of State with the approval officially issued on September 7, 2000. In 2012 the name was officially changed to Kiwanis of Nashville Foundation.
In addition to managing the funds derived from fundraising and contributions for the benefit of Kiwanis initiated projects such as the Service Leadership Programs and the annual Children's Christmas Party, grants have been awarded to charitable organizations which focus primarily on the needs of children. These have included Alcohol & Drug Council of Middle Tennessee, Alive Hospice, American Cancer Society, Mid-South, Arthritis Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee, Blakemore Children's Center, Book'em, Books from Birth of Middle Tennessee, Bootstraps Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee, Community Care Fellowship, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Domestic Violence Intervention Center, East Nashville Hope Exchange, Fannie Battle Day Home for Children, First Steps, Inc., Fisk University - Scholarship Fund, Governor's Books from Birth Foundation, GraceWorks Ministries, Hands On Nashville, Jennifer O'Neill Ministries, Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee, Kentucky-Tennessee Kiwanis Foundation, Kiwanis Children's Fund, Learning Matters Inc., Love Helps, Inc., Love Tennis, Inc., Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee, Mercy Children's Clinic, Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital, Nashville Children's Theater, Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research, Rape and Sexual Abuse Center, Renewal House, Rocketown of Middle Tennessee, Saddle UP!, Safe Haven Family Shelter, Sexual Assault Center, Special Olympics of Tennessee, Tennessee Voices for Children, The Next Door, Inc., The Salvation Army, St. Matthews Catholic Church Youth Program, United Neighborhood Health Services, Unlock The Champion, Y-Cap YMCA of Middle Tennessee, Youth Encouragement Services, Inc, and Youth Life Learning Center.