Diana Davis Spencer Foundation: Grants for Higher Education

OVERVIEW: The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation awards grants to higher education institutions across the United States. Spencer does not award a large number of higher education grants each year.

IP TAKE: The foundation does not have a specific grantmaking program dedicated to higher education. It awards grants to support academic institutions and programs in early childhood education, K-12, secondary education, post-secondary education and adult education.

PROFILE: Based in Bethesda, Maryland, the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation was founded in 2008. The foundation “[e]volved from the Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation, established in 1962, and the Kathryn W. Davis Foundation, established in 2004.” The foundation awards grants to “[s]upport national security, entrepreneurship, self-reliance, free enterprise, and to enhance quality of life by supporting the arts, education, global understanding, health advancements, and preservation of the environment.” Formal grantmaking programs include Education, Entrepreneurship, Public Policy and National Security.

According to the foundation’s website, “[a] world-class education system ensures a vibrant, entrepreneurial economy, strengthens national security and public policy, and instills America’s founding values in the next generation of citizens.”

Although the foundation does not offer a list of grantees  or grant amounts on its website, tax filings indicate that education grants range anywhere from $25,000 to over $5 million; however, the majority of grants amounts range from $50,000 to $500,000. Higher education institutions receiving support from Spencer in the past include Wheaton College, which received a grant for its Class of 1960 endowed scholarship fund; and the Foundation for Excellence in Higher Education.

The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation does not accept unsolicited grant applications or requests for funding.


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