The Noble Foundation’s 2015 Grant Plan: What Oklahoma Nonprofits Need to Know

Based in Ardmore, Oklahoma, the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation approaches philanthropy with a targeted focus and an eye on the local scene. This foundation has distributed over $1 billion for charitable purposes, including more than $300 million for grants and scholarships over the years. Noble is opening up its 2015 granting process, and here’s what local grantseekers need to know.

South-Central and Central Oklahoma Nonprofits Are Preferred

Almost all Noble grants stay within the Oklahoma state borders, and most of them are centered on south-central and central Oklahoma. Previous Noble grant recipients in Oklahoma include the YMCA of Ardmore, Good Shepherd Medical and Dental Clinic Foundation, Arbuckle Life Solutions, and the Charles B. Goddard Center for Visual and Performing Arts. The foundation occasionally awards grants to out-of-state institutions of higher learning, such as Stanford University and Texas A & M.

Higher Education and Health Are Priorities

The Noble Foundation’s focus areas are higher education, health research and delivery systems, and social service/quality of life projects. Most of Noble’s 2015 grantmaking will be focused on the first two categories. But keep in mind that Noble will not consider any requests for multi-year commitments. The foundation also doesn’t fund loans or grants for individuals or for-profit entities.

Grants Are Typically Between $10,000 and $50,000

At the end of 2013, the Noble Foundation as a whole reported over $1.3 billion in assets and just shy of $2 million in total giving. Most recent grants have been between $10,000 and $50,000, and Noble grants rarely exceed $150,000.  

Unsolicited Letters of Inquiry Are Accepted

Fortunately for grantseekers, the Noble Foundation does accept unsolicited letters of inquiry, even from nonprofits that have never applied for funding before. For the 2015 granting process, Noble is accepting letters of inquiry between January and May 29, 2015.

When asked about one piece of advice the foundation would give to prospective grantees, Noble Director of Philanthropy, Engagement and Project Management Mary Kate Wilson, replied, “Be prepared to discuss your organization’s priorities for funding. The worst thing a grant seeker can do, whether with the Noble Foundation or another prospective donor, is to create a project they believe matches the donor’s priorities, but does not align with their organization’s core purpose.”

Letters of inquiry can be submitted to Mary Kate Wilson via email at granting@noble.org or via mail at 2510 Sam Noble Parkway, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73401. You can contact Wilson directly with grant-related questions at mkwilson@noble.org or 580-224-6246. 

Related - Read IP’s Profile of the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation