E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation: Grants for Higher Education

OVERVIEW: The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation awards grants to support graduate theological education as well as visual arts programs as they relate to Asian art. 

IP TAKE: This funder only accepts grant requests from an organization once per calendar year.

PROFILE: The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation was founded in 1975 in Richmond, Virginia. Mr. Carpenter founded the foam rubber manufacturer, the Carpenter Company. The foundation remains a separate entity from its corporate sister. The foundation invests in graduate theological education, performing arts, visual arts, community health nursing, and LGBTQ causes.

The foundation’s higher education grants support “[g]raduate theological eduation from United States and Canadian public charities.” The foundation also awards grants to higher education institutions to support their arts programs as they relate to Asian art.

According to the foundation’s tax filings, the majority of grant awards range in amount from $10,000 to $100,000. In the past, Carpenter has supported schools such as the University of Southern California, which received funding to expand its coverage of LGBT issues in its publication Religion Dispatches. DePauw University is also a past Carpenter grantee, having received an award for the consolidation of the university’s Asian art collection. 

The Carpenter Foundation accepts unsolicited requests for funding. Grantseekers do not need to fill out specific grant application forms. A brief letter describing their organization’s history, project or program will suffice. Applicants must also include their organization’s IRS ruling and financial statements. Applications must be postmarked before January 31 to be considered by the board at the spring meeting and July 15 for consideration at the fall meeting.


  • Joseph O’Connor, Jr., Executive Director
  • Diane Collins, Associate Executive Director
  • Ann Day, President and Director
  • Paul Day, Vice President and Director