Jessie Ball duPont Fund: Southeast Grants

OVERVIEW: This funder supports nonprofits in Florida, Virginia, and Delaware, in the areas of organizational capacity, asset building, and civil society. It does not accept unsolicited proposals.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, religion, organizational capacity, affordable housing, community organizing, work opportunities

IP TAKE:  This funder often sticks with familiar nonprofits that the founder and subsequent board has supported for many years. However, funding has expanded to other groups in recent years.

PROFILE: The Jessie Ball duPont Fund is based in Jacksonville, Florida, and is the legacy of Jessie Ball duPont, who passed away in 1970. It seeks “to expand access and create opportunity by investing in people, organizations and communities that were important to Jessie Ball duPont.” At that time, she had one of the largest estates in Florida’s history, and her will called for the establishment of a fund to support charitable causes. During her lifetime, the founder was an educator and was married to Alfred I. duPont, a man of great wealth with large business enterprises in Florida.

Today, the fund awards grants totaling between $12 million and $18 million per year, and has expanded its grantmaking from the organizations that were outlined in duPont's will. It supports education groups, as well as quite a few religious organizations. The fund currently prioritizes nonprofit capacity-building efforts, promoting civil society, and building the assets of people, families, and communities.

Grants regularly support Florida nonprofits in need of strategic planning, professional development, technical assistance, and other capacity-building requirements. Asset-building efforts help individuals and families build up their finances and gain access to affordable housing, work opportunities, and post-secondary success. Civil society grantmaking supports research, community education, organizational development, and community activities that bring citizens together to solve problems.

Foundation grants support nonprofits that assist people in need in Florida, Virginia, and Delaware. Grant applications are invitation-only. Higher education has always been a major cause here because the founder supported many liberal arts colleges and other higher education causes during her lifetime.

Florida grantees include the Archdiocese of Miami, Baptist Health in Jacksonville, the Florida Chapter Northeast Region of the Arthritis Foundation, the Bach Festival Society in Winter Park, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida. A list of grants awarded by year can be viewed on their website.

You can review the fund’s research and reports on its website. In a recent year, the outfit had over $306 million in total liabilities and unrestricted net assets. Current financial data is here.

The foundation can be reached at (904) 353-0890 or via online form. There are about 10 staff members at the Ball duPont Fund. The address is 40 East Adams Street, Suite 300, Jacksonville, Florida, 32202. Keep up with foundation news here.


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