John P. Ellbogen Foundation

OVERVIEW: This Wyoming-focused funder supports basic needs, community, health, education and the environment throughout the state. Letters of inquiry are accepted twice per year.

FUNDING AREAS: Basic needs, community, health, education, environment

IP TAKE: There are broad funding categories supported here, but the main focus is on education in public schools.

PROFILE: The John P. Ellbogen Foundation is based in Laramie, Wyoming, and exists to benefit the people of Wyoming through science, education and charity support. John P. “Jack” Ellbogen was a Wyoming native who loved his home state. He earned his wealth in a career with the Carter Oil Company (Exxon) and later as an independent oil producer who formed several gas and oil companies. Throughout his life, he was committed to the public school systems and improving teacher quality.

Interests here are basic needs, which includes food, clothing, relationships and shelter, and also community connections, which establishes relationships among faith organizations, government, businesses, nonprofits and families. Health funding is focused on physical, behavioral and dental health. Education funding encompasses K-12, early childhood, adult skill building and post-secondary education. It also provides environmental funding within the state of Wyoming.

Grant requests are accepted by invitation only. However, grantseekers' first step is to submit a letter of inquiry. Past due dates for LOIs have fallen in early March. LOIs should be submitted by email to the foundation president. The competitive grant process has two grant cycles; the board meets each spring and fall.

Grantees include Casper College, Cathedral Home for Children, Climb Wyoming, Ellbogen Meritorious Schools, the Fund for Teachers, the Healthy Birth Infant Brains Foundation, and Interfaith of Natrona County. Others recipients are National Jewish Health, the Wyoming Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, and the Teton Literacy Center. As a rule, Ellbogen does not fund requests for capital construction.

There are a few other initiatives at the Ellbogen Foundation worth noting. The Wyoming National Board Certification Initiative supports teacher quality improvement in Wyoming Public Schools, and the Ellbogen Meritorious Schools initiative funds professional teaching standards and a National Board Module development tool. Meanwhile, Wyoming Kids First supports kids under eight in various aspects of a child’s growth and development, such as early literacy to preventative health care.

Another education-related program, Be Somebody: Cowboy Ethics Training, seeks to incorporate the Code of the West into classrooms. The GRADUATE funding program helps students at risk of not getting their diplomas and newly graduated students in their first year after high school.

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