James M. Cox Foundation: Southeast Grants

OVERVIEW: This corporate funder supports conservation and environment, early childhood education, health, and empowerment causes largely in the Atlanta metro area, where the Cox businesses are based. It accepts grant applications throughout the year.

FUNDING AREAS: Conservation and environment, early childhood education, empowering families and individuals for success, health

IP TAKE: Grant seekers should seek a green space or outdoor recreation grant with this funder. Cox prioritizes parks, gardens, trails, and community improvement projects in Atlanta.

PROFILE: The James M. Cox Foundation is the charitable and grantmaking arm of Cox Enterprises, which is a communications, media, and automotive services company based in Atlanta. There are three Cox businesses, which collectively have revenues over $18 billion and employ over 60,000 people. Cox Communications is the third-largest cable TV provider and a broadband communications company. Cox Media Group is an integrated broadcasting, publishing and digital media company. Cox Automotive provides vehicle re-marketing services and digital marketing and software solutions for automotive dealers and consumers.

Cox's funding interests are conservation and environment, early childhood education, empowering families and individuals for success, and health. It typically does not fund basic operating expenses or annual programs. However, it does favor requests for capital campaigns like construction and renovations and also special projects to expand programs and build capacity. It was incorporated in 1957 in Georgia.

Cox prioritizes nonprofits in the Atlanta metro area because this is where the company and foundation are based. In fact, any organization outside of metro Atlanta must have a recommendation letter from a manager at a local Cox business to be considered for a grant; Atlanta-based groups do not have this requirement. There are many places that Cox and its subsidiaries do business, however, so this is not exclusively an Atlanta funder.  

The funding categories are broad, but Cox is known around town as a big supporter of parks, gardens, and urban green spaces. See Inside Philanthropy’s previous posts linked below to learn more about Cox's local support.

All grant applications should be submitted online. They are accepted throughout the year. The trustees of the foundation meet three times per year, in April, August, and December. So, grant seekers should get their application in by February 15, June 15, or October 15 to be considered at the next meeting. Previous applicants are required to wait at least one year before applying for another grant.

General and grant-related questions should be directed to the staff at coxfoundation@coxinc.com or 678-645-0929. Nancy Rigby is the president of the foundation and the person who oversees the grants, business management and administration of foundation operations. No other staff members are listed exclusively for the foundation on Cox Enterprise’s website.

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