Jane K. Lowe Charitable Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports nonprofits in Madison County, Alabama. Funding priorities include youth, human services, community health, education, and arts and culture.  

FUNDING AREAS: Education, health, human services, arts and culture, youth

IP TAKE:  The foundation’s funding areas are very broad, but the geographic scope of funding is very narrow. This is a very small, family-run foundation, but it still gives out impressive amounts of money each year.

PROFILE: The Jane K. Lowe Charitable Foundation was created in 1997 when Jane K. Lowe passed away at 95 and left most of her estate to the foundation. She and her husband, Robert, turned Lowe Hereford Farm in Madison and Limestone Counties of Alabama into a large farming and cattle operation. During her lifetime, Lowe was involved in the Huntsville community through the Randolph School, local public library, YMCA, and other civic projects. She was always interested in supporting education in Alabama.

The foundation gives the greater of either its net income or five percent of its value to charity each year. About 60 percent goes to named charities and 40 percent to charitable groups selected by the trustees. It has established a plan to spend down all of the assets by 2027 and give the remaining funds to the following institutions and organizations: University of Alabama at Birmingham, Randolph School, Agnes Scott College, Vanderbilt University, Huntsville Boys Club Trust and Endowment Fund, and Girls Incorporated of Huntsville.

Before the 2027 cutoff, nonprofits in Alabama can apply for Lowe grants by submitting written proposals in triplicate via mail. Applications are due on June 1; award announcements are made by July 31. There is no formal application form, just the standard array of organizational and project information as described on the funder’s grants page.

Lowe prioritizes organizations in Madison County, Alabama, and typically will not consider requests from nonprofits outside the county. It will fund major capital projects, administrative needs, program support, and general operating support. However, Lowe does not fund research, churches or religious organizations, political causes, conferences, or charity event tickets. The funding priorities are divided into three tiers with a 35 percent/35 percent/30 percent split among them.

In a recent year, the foundation estimated giving away $1.537 million. A total of 18 grants were awarded in another recent year. A list of grants and their amounts can be viewed on the foundation’s news page. Grants have gone to local groups in the areas of youth, arts and culture, community health, animal welfare, and human services. Grant seekers will only be on the foundation’s mailing list if they submit a grant application to it in the past two consecutive years or request otherwise.

The foundation's financial information can be viewed by visiting the office in Huntsville. The office is staffed between 9 am and 12:30 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. General questions can be directed to the staff via phone by calling 256-536-1231 or by email at janelowe@hiwaay.net.



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