Brown Foundation: Grants for Higher Education

OVERVIEW: The Brown Foundation supports higher education institutions around the country.

IP TAKE: This funder’s higher education grants tend to support specific projects and programs rather than general operating costs. The foundation prioritizes organizations based in or benefitting Texas.

PROFILE: Herman Brown, Margarett Root Brown, George R. Brown and Alice Pratt Brown founded the Brown Foundation in 1951 to broadly “[d]istribute funds for pubic charitable purposes, principally for support, encouragement and assistance to education, the arts and community service.” Additional areas of grantmaking focus include the humanities, civic and public affairs, human services and medicine/science.

While the foundation has a sparse website, it does not name grantmaking strategies in the higher education space. The foundation reportedly awards approximately 80 percent of its grants to organizations located in Texas; however, its annual reports indicate that it awards higher education grants to organizations based in the United States.

Brown Foundation grants can range anywhere from $5,000 to $2.8 million; however, most higher education grants fall in the $5,000 to $50,000 range. Past grantees in this space include Yale University, which received a grant in support of the Charles D. Ellis Academic Innovation Fund; and Clemson University, which received funding to support its geological sciences endowment. To learn more about Brown’s grantees, download its latest annual report.

The Brown Foundation accepts unsolicited grant proposal summaries. Submissions are not to exceed five to six pages total. The foundation accepts submissions on rolling basis throughout the year and organizations may only submit one grant request per 12-month period. Trustees meet once per month to review grant requests.

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