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

OVERVIEW: The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation awards grants in a broad range of fields related to the Carpenters’ personal interest, which includes theology, Asian art, LGBTQ issues (especially in religious communities), and nursing.

IP TAKE: This funder only meets to review proposals twice a year, but any grantseeker whose projects align with Carpenter’s mission can apply with nothing more than a letter of inquiry.

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 education from United States and Canadian public charities.” The foundation also awards grants to museums and higher education institutions that “have a permanent collection for the purchase, conservation and exhibition of Asian art and relating to education in Asian art,” and will also consider “requests from such institutions to underwrite the costs of exhibitions of Western art in the Peoples Republic of China or the Republic of China (Taiwan).” 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. 

According to the foundation’s tax filings, the majority of grant awards range in amount from $10,000 to $100,000. Past Carpenter grantees include 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.

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