Mary Kay Foundation: Grants for Girls and Women

OVERVIEW: The Mary Kay Foundation focuses its grantmaking on cancers affecting women and domestic violence.

IP TAKE: Mary Kay grants often support project specific costs rather than general operating expenses.

PROFILE: Mary Kay Ash established the Mary Kay Foundation in 1996 to support organizations working to eliminate cancers affecting women and ending domestic violence. Formerly known as the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation, the name was changed to the Mary Kay Foundation in 2009. While the foundation does not maintain specific programs for women, its grants broadly support them across its grantmaking.

Every year, the foundation’s Research Review Committee selects top researchers and accredited medical schools whose work merits a grant from the foundation’s Cancer Research Grant program. Grants support investigators researching cures for cancers affecting women including, but not limited to, breast, cervical, uterine, and ovarian cancers.

In the field of domestic violence, the foundation is “committed to stopping the violence, breaking the silence, and making a difference,” for women and children suffering from domestic violence.

Domestic violence grants typically fall in the $10,000 to $20,000 range and cancer-related grants tend to be for around $100,000. In the past, the foundation awarded the Pennsylvania State College of Medicine a cancer research grant. To get a broader sense of the type of research Mary Kay supports, explore its Cancer Grant Recipients page. In the domestic violence space, the foundation has awarded multiple grants to local women’s shelters across the country such as the Battered Women’s Shelter in Ohio, and Alternatives for Battered Women in New York. Click here to learn more about Mary Kay’s domestic violence grantees.

The foundation accepts unsolicited domestic violence grants from January 15 to April 30 each year.


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