Booth Ferris Foundation: Grants for Higher Education

OVERVIEW: The Booth Ferris funds arts, culture, and K-12 education projects, all of which focus on New York City. However, its higher education projects maintain a national scope and focus largely on "capacity building" activities.

IP TAKE: Booth Ferris’s giving demonstrates a broad range of interests. Private liberal arts colleges and organizations with college and career readiness programs should especially keep an eye on this funder.

PROFILE: Established in 1957 by Willis H. Booth and his wife, Chancie Ferris, the Booth Ferris Foundation has awarded over $281 million to charitable causes over the course of its history. Booth was a successful banker and business executive who became the vice-president of the Guaranty Trust Company and Hotpoint Electric Heating Company. Booth Ferris funds Education, Arts and Culture and Strengthening NYC.

Booth Ferris’s Education funding falls into two categories. Its K-12 program “provides capacity building support for organizations working directly with or on behalf of district public schools in the New York City school system.” Note that it does not accept requests from individual schools or organizations outside of New York City. Its higher education program, however, “provides capacity building support for institutions of higher education in the Northeastern United States.” Past grantees include Agnes Scott College in Georgia for a Resource Center for Math and Science, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City for capacity building activities related to a Master of Arts in Teaching Program, and Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania for a Next Generation Leaders mentoring study, among many others.

Grants range from $50,000 to $200,000. The foundation maintains a list of its most Recent Grants.

The Booth Ferris Foundation accepts unsolicited proposals, with a yearly deadline of February 1, and announcements made in June or July.

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