Foundation for the Tri-State

OVERVIEW: The Foundation for the Tri-State provides grants to nonprofits in eastern Kentucky, as well as in southern Ohio and southwestern West Virginia, for arts and culture, social services, environment, scholarships and youth.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts and culture, social services, environment, scholarships, youth

IP TAKE: The most opportunities are among the foundation’s 21st Century Grants, but also take a look at the specific funds that serve select Kentucky counties.

PROFILE: Established in 1972, the Foundation for the Tri-State is a community foundation based in Ashland, Kentucky. It was originally called the Greater Ashland Area Cultural and Economic Development Foundation. Area businessmen G.B. Johnson Jr. of Ashland’s First American Bank, Samuel J. MacMullan of Armco Steel, and Ashland Oil’s Clyde M. Webb first conceived of the foundation. The funder aims to “improve quality of life in the Tri-State region of eastern Kentucky, southwestern West Virginia, and southern Ohio.” Grantmaking includes arts and culture, social services, environment, scholarships and youth.

The Foundation for the Tri-State manages field-of-interest funds, project funds, unrestricted funds and agency funds. The funder awards a small portion of its grants through competitive grant opportunities. The 21st Century grants support local quality of life in five counties. Carter County Community Fund grants are available to nonprofits in Carter County, Kentucky. Elliott County Endowment Fund grants are available to nonprofits in Elliott County, Kentucky. The Greenup County Green Fund serves Greenup County, Kentucky, and Area Education Grants serve local communities in Boyd and Greenup counties to advance student achievement.

Overall, foundation grants range from $500 to $5,000. View past grantees on each of the grant program pages linked above. The foundation serves the Tri-State region of Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. The funder serves a total of 11 counties in its three states of focus, and seven of those counties are in Kentucky. The Kentucky counties served are Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup, Lawrence, Lewis and Pike. Each foundation grant program has its own deadlines and guidelines.

The foundation accepts unsolicited grant applications for several of its Kentucky grant programs. For example, 21st Century Grant Program applications are due January 10, April 10, July 10, and October 10 each year. Direct general questions to the staff at 606-324-3888 or


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