Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund: Grants for Higher Education

OVERVIEW: The Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund supports higher education institutions across the country including large universities and local community colleges.

IP TAKE: The Davis Charitable Fund awards grants to aid in a variety of higher education efforts such as scholarship funds, general operating costs and specific programs and projects. It lacks transparency, which restricts information about its grantmaking strategies and application process.

PROFILE: Shelby Cullom Davis was an American business executive who established Shelby Cullom Davis & Company in the late 1940s. Davis passed away in 1994 and his family established the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund with an endowment from Davis’ last will and testament. With current assets of between $2 billion and $2.5 billion, the fund keeps a surprisingly low public profile, does not operate a website and employs just one formal staff member. According to tax filings, the fund supports a wide range of interests, which includes higher education, arts and culture, environmental conservation and healthcare.

Tax filings do not indicate any specific areas of funding interest. The fund’s higher education funding appears equally as broad as it supports colleges and universities across the country. Past grantees include the Trustees of Princeton University and the Palm Beach State College Foundation.

Grant amounts vary widely, ranging from $10,000 to over $30 million. Higher education grants amounts range widely as well, often falling between $20,000 and $5 million.

The Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund does not accept unsolicited grant applications or requests for funding.


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Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund

c/o Foundation Source

501 Silverside Road, Suite 123

Wilmington, Delaware 19809