Compared with the rest of the nation, Southeast philanthropy is still very young, but this funding scene is growing fast, with new foundations arriving on the scene and existing ones stepping up their giving. Grantmaking covers a wide swath of issues—education and health are two top concerns for funders in the Southeast today, as is the case elsewhere. Early childhood education has lately emerged as a huge grantmaking focus, and health legacy foundations are transforming nonprofit support in rural Southeastern communities. Emerging issues on the agendas of funders include immigration, LGBTQ rights, and mental health for adults and children.

There’s a big push in the Southeast for place-based philanthropy right now, as the majority of funders here are private family foundations committed to their home communities. If you want insights on key funders driving the regional philanthropic scene in Southeast communities, you’re in the right place.

FUNDERS

ALABAMA POWER FOUNDATION

This corporate funder awards grants in the areas of STEM programs, workforce development, conservation education, and early childhood education in Alabama. Arts and culture, health and human services, and community life programs are also supported statewide.

PEYTON ANDERSON FOUNDATION

This funder supports a very wide range of nonprofit causes in Macon and Bibb Counties in Georgia. It funds local arts, disaster relief, hunger, education, and the well-being of children.

ARKANSAS COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

ACF supports a broad range of issues in a majority of the counties in Arkansas. Most grants come from donor-directed funds, but ACF also funds local health, education, and economic well-being groups. 

ARTSBUILD

This funder supports a wide range of arts and culture groups in the Greater Chattanooga area of Tennessee. Arts education and economic development through the arts are big local priorities.

ATLANTA WOMEN'S FOUNDATION

This funder supports causes for women and girls in the five-county Atlanta metro area to break the cycle of generational poverty and promote economic self-sufficiency.

MARY REYNOLDS BABCOCK FOUNDATION

Supports economic opportunity, democracy and civic engagement, and related policies and institutions in the Southeast. Jobs in Appalachia is a high priority.

CHARLES AND MARGERY BARANCIK FOUNDATION

Supports goes to the Sarasota and Chicago areas for education, humanitarian causes, arts and culture, and the environment. Unsolicited grant requests are not accepted.  

BAYOU COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

BCF supports nonprofits in Terrebonne Parish, Lafourche Parish, and Grand Isle, Louisiana. Top interests are education, coastal protection, and human services.

BEAR FAMILY FOUNDATION

This funder supports a wide range of topics in Northwest Florida, including childhood disease, autism, food pantries, youth sports, and arts and culture. The annual grant application deadline is November 1.

J.L. BEDSOLE FOUNDATION

This funder supports five counties in Southwest Alabama in the areas of education, youth, economic development, arts and culture, and civic engagement.

BLACK BELT COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

This funder supports a 12-county region in Alabama in the areas of arts, community and economic development, education, and health and wellness.

MARY BLACK FOUNDATION

This funder supports healthy eating/active living, early childhood development, and community health programs in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. Application deadlines are twice yearly.

ARTHUR M. BLANK FAMILY FOUNDATION

This funder mostly supports efforts in Atlanta related to early childhood development, education, green space, and the arts. Unsolicited proposals are not accepted from nonprofits.

BLUE AND YOU FOUNDATION

This funder supports health causes in Arkansas with an emphasis on regional and statewide efforts for healthcare delivery, policy and economics.

BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MISSISSIPPI FOUNDATION

This funder supports exercise and healthy eating programs throughout Mississippi. Letters of inquiries are accepted from local groups all year.

BLUE GRASS COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

This funder supports early childhood education, cancer and tuberculosis patients, community causes, literacy, and youth enhancement causes in Central and Eastern Kentucky. Grant opportunities vary by county.

JAMES GRAHAM BROWN FOUNDATION

This funder supports causes of health, economic development, and culture in the Louisville metro area and education at all levels throughout Kentucky.

JOSEPH S. BRUNO CHARITABLE FOUNDATION

This funder supports groups in Greater Birmingham, Alabama, mostly in the areas of community health and youth education. Letters of inquiry are accepted twice per year.

THE CARING FOUNDATION OF BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF ALABAMA

This health insurance foundation supports health, wellness, and education causes in the state of Alabama.

CENTRAL CAROLINA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

This funder supports 11 counties in mid-South Carolina with grants. Discretionary grants mostly go towards community improvements, while other funds accept grant requests too.

CENTRAL FLORIDA FOUNDATION

This community funder is home to over 400 charitable funds and has a nonprofit database to connect donors with organizations. Top funding causes are the arts, homelessness, and human services.

C.E. AND S. FOUNDATION

This funder supports the Louisville, Kentucky, community in the areas of education and urban environment. A phone call to the program director is requested to discuss your idea before submitting an application.

CHURCHILL DOWNS INCORPORATED FOUNDATION

Best known for the Kentucky Derby, this corporate funder awards grants in its home state of Kentucky and other communities where the company operates. Funding interests are public health, art, and education.

COCA-COLA FOUNDATION

This Atlanta-based funder prioritizes causes related to women, water and well-being. Coca-Cola funds causes around the world but has local and regional foundations and a strong presence in the Southeast.

COMMUNITIES OF COASTAL GEORGIA FOUNDATION

Provides competitive grants of up to $5,000 per grantee across a wide variety of local topics. Also disperses endowed, donor-advised, corporate, and giving circle funds. Great for first-time grantseekers.

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF CENTRAL GEORGIA

Operates a nonprofit grant program and several other funds serving 21 counties. Topics of interest include health, education, animal welfare, disabled people, and community strengthening. 

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION FOR GREATER ATLANTA

CFGA supports 23 counties through competitive grants in the Atlanta metro area in the fields of arts, community development, education, health and human services, and nonprofit effectiveness.

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF GREATER BIRMINGHAM

This funder has a competitive grantmaking process for education, health, community and financial security. Grants are awarded in the counties of Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair, Blount, and Walker.

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF GREATER MEMPHIS

This is the largest funder in the region, awarding grants in western Tennessee, eastern Arkansas, and northern Mississippi. Top areas of interest are education, human services, and nonprofit capacity building.

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF LOUISVILLE

This funder supports mostly Kentucky-based organizations in the areas of community, environment, education, health, human services, arts & culture, and religious/faith-based groups.

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF THE LOWCOUNTRY

This funder supports the South Carolina counties of Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper. The foundation backs literacy, the environment, nonprofit capacity, and community building.

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF NORTHEAST ALABAMA

This funder supports nine Northeast Alabama counties through many different funds. Grant opportunities are available in the areas of healthcare and health education. 

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION FOR NORTHEAST FLORIDA

This funder provides competitive grants in early childhood and the arts in Northeast Florida counties. It also funds initiatives related to education, aging, neighborhoods, and nonprofit capacity building.

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION FOR NORTHEAST GEORGIA

This funder is based in Duluth, Georgia and supports nonprofits working in social services, education, community and civic affairs, arts and culture, and health. All funding stays in Northeast Georgia. 

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION FOR PALM BEACH AND MARTIN COUNTIES

This funder awards grants in affordable housing, arts and culture, basic needs, and more. It has a competitive grant process and donor Field of Interest funds that accept proposals by invitation only.

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA

This Asheville-based funder supports early childhood development, food & farming, people in need, and natural & cultural resources in 18 counties in Western North Carolina.

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF SOUTH ALABAMA

This funder supports nonprofits in the Alabama counties of Mobile, Baldwin, Escambia, Conecuh, Monroe, Clarke, Choctaw, and Washington. Areas of interest are capacity building, arts and culture, economic opportunity, and health.

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF WEST ALABAMA

This funder supports a wide variety of issues in nine counties of Western Alabama. Unsolicited applications are accepted, and grants are awarded twice per year.

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF WEST KENTUCKY

This funder supports local groups in the Paducah area and elsewhere in Western Kentucky. Funding goes to community arts, social services, children, education, health, and community improvement groups.

CREATE: NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI'S COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

This funder serves 17 counties in Northeast Mississippi and is the oldest community foundation in Mississippi. It supports education, community development, and children and families.

JAMES M. COX FOUNDATION

The charitable arm of Cox Enterprises funds conservation, environment, early childhood education, empowering families and individuals for success, and health. Focuses on the Atlanta metro area but will fund elsewhere with employee recommendation. 

DANIEL FOUNDATION OF ALABAMA

This funder supports educational, health, humanitarian, and cultural activities in Birmingham and throughout Alabama.

DUKE ENDOWMENT

Duke supports child care, healthcare, higher education, and rural church causes in North Carolina and South Carolina. James Buchanan Duke established this foundation in 1924.

DUKE ENERGY FOUNDATION

This funder supports programs for education, the environment, economic and workforce development, and community impact in counties in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Florida.

R.C. DURR FOUNDATION

This foundation supports Northern Kentucky groups working in education, social services, community development, and occasionally healthcare. Unsolicited applications are accepted throughout the year.

EAST TENNESSEE FOUNDATION

This funder supports 25 counties in Eastern Tennessee through donor-advised grant distributions and competitive grants. Funding areas include arts and culture, at-risk youth, and community development.

ENDEAVOR FOUNDATION

Funds go to projects to improve health, education, and community vitality in Northwest Arkansas. Endeavor does not accept unsolicited grant inquiries, but you can call the staff to discuss your ideas.

LETTIE PATE EVANS FOUNDATION

This funder supports education and arts and culture mostly in Georgia, but also occasionally in Virginia. Universities, colleges, museums, historical societies, and performing arts groups receive this support.

EVERGLADES FOUNDATION

This funder exclusively supports protection and conservation efforts for the Florida Everglades. Grants are awarded yearly, and unsolicited applications are accepted. 

EVERGREEN FOUNDATION

This mental health funder supports the seven western counties of North Carolina. intellectual or developmental disabilities, behavioral health issues, or substance abuse problems are top priority areas.

FLORIDA BLUE FOUNDATION

This funder awards grants for health, education, human services, arts and culture, and community development in Florida. It is based in Jacksonville and has different deadlines for the various grant programs.

FOUNDATION FOR THE CAROLINAS

This funder serves a 13-county region in North Carolina and South Carolina. It distributes donor-advised funds and competitive grants. Funding areas include arts, education, health, housing and animals.

FOUNDATION FOR A HEALTHY KENTUCKY

This health legacy funder awards grants to promote access to healthcare, local public health, children’s health, and a smoke-free lifestyle for Kentuckians. It also supports disease prevention for children.

ELLA WEST FREEMAN FOUNDATION

Supports education, arts, community improvement, and human services nonprofits in the New Orleans area. Grants are awarded twice per year, and unsolicited inquiries are welcome.

CHARLES A. FRUEAUFF FOUNDATION

This Little Rock, Arkansas-based funder supports education, human services, health, and hospitals. First-time grantseekers submit a survey form to start the process.

GEORGIA POWER FOUNDATION

This power company funder supports the following causes in Georgia: health and human services, education improvement, civic and community, environmental stewardship, and arts and culture.

GHEENS FOUNDATION

This funder supports public education, economic development, medicine, the arts, and social/health services in the Louisville, Kentucky, area and in two Louisiana parishes. Unsolicited applications are accepted four times per year.

GOIZUETA FOUNDATION

This funder supports early learning, K-12 education, and the Atlanta community. Grants are focused on the 10-county metro area of Atlanta.

GOLDEN LEAF FOUNDATION

This funder supports rural communities in North Carolina through economic development grantmaking related to agriculture, job creation and retention, and workforce preparedness.

GOOD SAMARITAN FOUNDATION

This funder supports healthcare and health education in Kentucky. It is a grantmaking extension of the United Methodist Church and has one grant application cycle per year.  

GREATER KANAWHA VALLEY FOUNDATION

TGKVF funds education, health, community engagement/community building, basic needs, and arts and culture causes. All funding is limited to the six-county region of the Greater Kanawha Valley.

GREATER NEW ORLEANS FOUNDATION

This funder supports New Orleans and the surrounding 13 parishes in Southeast Louisiana. Funding causes include the arts, elderly issues, the environment, job training, LGBT community, housing, education, and health.

PHIL HARDIN FOUNDATION

This funder supports education in Mississippi, especially related to literacy and early childhood education. Grant applications are reviewed every month or two.

HAYSWOOD FOUNDATION

This funder supports five northeastern Kentucky counties and two southeastern Ohio counties. Topics of interest are physical and mental health and education.

HEALTHCARE GEORGIA FOUNDATION

HGF supports access to healthcare, health disparities, disease prevention, nonprofit capacity building, health policy, childhood obesity, rural communities, and infant mortality in Georgia.

HOOTIE AND THE BLOWFISH FOUNDATION

This band funder mostly supports children in South Carolina through education and the arts. It is managed by the Central Carolina Community Foundation.   

HORIZON COMMUNITY FUNDS OF NORTHERN KENTUCKY

This relatively new community funder focuses efforts on three Kentucky counties. Interests are poverty, arts, education, health, and community development.

MILDRED V. HORN FOUNDATION

This funder supports public charities that work with historic home renovation, education in Oldham County, and homeless shelters. Most grants stay in Kentucky. Grant applications are accepted throughout the year.

HUMANA FOUNDATION

This Louisville, Kentucky-based funder supports programs about healthy behaviors, health education, and access to health services. It supports many cities in the Southeast and nationwide.

IMPACT ALAMANCE

This health legacy funder in North Carolina supports healthy eating and active lifestyles for kids, public schools, and capacity building for nonprofits. Current grant opportunities are posted on the funder’s website.

KEENELAND FOUNDATION

This funder supports health, human services, education, arts and culture, and community needs in Central Kentucky. Unsolicited grant applications are accepted throughout the year and reviewed in the winter.

KELLER FAMILY FOUNDATION

This private family funder supports nonprofits in the Greater New Orleans region in the areas of education, youth development, human services, and public affairs.

WILLIAM R. KENAN JR. CHARITABLE TRUST

This private family funder supports education (mostly higher ed), arts, arts education, and basic human needs in North Carolina, as well as in Kentucky, St. Augustine, Florida, and Lockport, New York.

KENTUCKY FOUNDATION FOR WOMEN

This feminist funder supports artist enrichment and art and activism for women in Kentucky. Grant applications are accepted twice per year.

FANNY LANDWIRTH FOUNDATION

This funder supports basic needs services in Northeastern Florida and Western North Carolina, including food, shelter, clothing, and education for the underserved.

LEON LEVINE FOUNDATION

Created by the founder of the Family Dollar retail store chain, Leon Levine Foundation primarily supports work in Charlotte, North Carolina, in healthcare, education, Jewish values, human services, and community. 

LG&E AND KU FOUNDATION

This energy company funder supports education, diversity, environment, and health and human services throughout Kentucky. Public and STEM education are the biggest focuses. 

JANE K. LOWE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION

This funder supports nonprofits in Madison County, Alabama. Funding interests are youth, human services, community health, education, and arts and culture.  

LYNDHURST FOUNDATION

This funder is focused on Chattanooga, Tennessee. It supports education, conservation, arts, culture, economy, urban design and development, neighborhood revitalization, and physical health.

BERNARD MCDONOUGH FOUNDATION

Supports social welfare and health/medical causes throughout the state of West Virginia and in Washington County, Ohio. Unsolicited applications are accepted online throughout the year.

NORTH CAROLINA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

This community funder works through many affiliate offices to address local needs in North Carolina. Broad topics of interest include education, human services, basic needs, arts, historical preservation, health, recreation, youth development, environment, and animal welfare.

NORTON FOUNDATION

This funder focuses on holistic education in the Louisville, Kentucky, area. Teacher professional development and integrating the arts into education are also important to Norton.

PATTERSON FOUNDATION

Patterson supports a wide range of initiatives and prioritizes the Sarasota area of Florida. Patterson’s source of wealth traces back to former Chicago Tribune owner Joseph Medill.

PEACOCK FOUNDATION

This funder awards grants in South Florida in the areas of children/youth, elderly, programs for people with disabilities, arts for educational purposes, environmental education, health/hospitals, medical research, and human services.

PRO BONO PUBLICO FOUNDATION

The foundation supports public education in New Orleans, especially charter schools. It was formed by the Rex Organization, has strong Mardi Gras ties, and awards grants once per year.

RAPIDES FOUNDATION

This funder supports nonprofits in nine Central Louisiana parishes in the fields of healthcare access, obesity, tobacco/alcohol/drug use prevention, education, economic development, and community development.

KATE B. REYNOLDS CHARITABLE TRUST

Mostly supports health and wellness in North Carolina, but also basic needs in Forsyth County. Commonly funded topics include diabetes, behavioral health, and access to primary care.

RHI LEGACY FOUNDATION

This funder supports programs for chronic disease, healthy eating, and active living in Rutherford County, North Carolina.

Z. SMITH REYNOLDS FOUNDATION

Notable for its transparent approach to strategic planning, this funder supports North Carolina causes in economic development, strengthening democracy, the environment, education, and social justice and equality. Grants fund at the local, state and regional levels. 

RILEY FOUNDATION

This funder supports education, healthcare, culture, environment, and economic betterment causes in Lauderdale County, Mississippi, with a special emphasis on the city of Meridian.

WINTHROP ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION

Founded by the late Arkansas governor, this funder is solely focused on Arkansas and gives to education, economic and racial/social justice causes in the state.

ROSAMARY FOUNDATION

RosaMary Foundation supports education, human services, arts, community development, and governmental oversight in Greater New Orleans. This foundation and the Ella West Freeman Foundation were established by A.B. Freeman.

THE ROSS FOUNDATION 

Ross accepts inquiries from groups in Clark County, Arkansas, in education, arts and cultural enrichment, community beautification and improvement, historical preservation, mental health and the developmentally disabled, forestry and research and conservation management.

MICHAEL SAUNDERS AND CO. FOUNDATION

This corporate real estate funder supports basic needs services in the Florida counties of Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte. Company employees nominate potential grantees.

SISTERS OF CHARITY FOUNDATION OF SOUTH CAROLINA

This funder supports efforts to reduce poverty in South Carolina. It gives mostly to social services, followed about equally by education and health.

J. MARION SIMS FOUNDATION

This funder focuses on building healthy communities in South Caroloina, supporting youth transition to adulthood, and elevating philanthropy in Lancaster County, Fort Lawn, and Great Falls.

TRIANGLE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

This community funder mainly supports local groups in the areas of youth literacy, community development, arts and culture, and the environment. Durham, Chatham, Orange, and Wake counties of North Carolina are in focus.

WALKER AREA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

This funder supports Walker County, Alabama, and the surrounding area on the topics of arts and humanities, children and youth, education, elder care, environment, health and medicine, recreation, and social welfare.

WILLARD AND PAT WALKER CHARITABLE FOUNDATION

This funder broadly supports healthcare and education in Arkansas, as well as Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. Unsolicited grant applications are accepted during two time periods each year.

WALTON FAMILY FOUNDATION

This funder’s Home Region program supports Arkansas causes related to pre-K-12 education, environmental conservation, arts and culture, economic development, job creation, youth development, and public safety.

WHAS Crusade for Children

This group runs the most successful telethon in America and awards grants to Kentucky and Southern Indiana nonprofits. Children with special needs are the sole focus here. 

JOSEPH B. WHITEHEAD FOUNDATION

This funder mostly supports K-12 education in the Atlanta Metro area, but also funds youth, health, economic opportunity, and human services causes in the 13 Georgia counties surrounding the city.

LETTIE PATE WHITEHEAD FOUNDATION

This funder supports education for female students in nine Southeastern states and elderly care facilities in Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. New grantees are rarely considered, but the foundation does accept inquiries.

WINDGATE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION

This Arkansas funder supports art education, K-12 education, higher education, Christian higher education, human services, Christian and marriage family relationships, children and youth.

WOMEN'S GIVING GROUPS AT THE NORTH CAROLINA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

This community foundation has a statewide women’s fund and supports nine additional women’s giving groups in the state. Here are the basics of the 10 women-focused givers. 

ROBERT W. WOODRUFF FOUNDATION

This is a locally focused private foundation that invests in health, education, economic causes and community causes in Georgia. Most grantees are based in Atlanta.

YUM! BRANDS FOUNDATION

This corporate funder prioritizes hunger relief causes in and around Louisville, Kentucky. Other topics of interest are the arts, youth, education, community, and disaster relief.