Abercrombie Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Abercrombie Foundation supports education, animal welfare, human services, the environment, health, and arts and culture, mostly in Kentucky and Texas.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, animal welfare, human services, the environment, health, arts and culture

IP TAKE: Lexington, Kentucky-based organizations will need to network to catch this funder’s attention unless they already have a connection to the local horse racing industry. The foundation lacks transparency and does not maintain a website.

PROFILE: Established in 1988, the Abercrombie Foundation is a partial successor to the J.S. Abercrombie Foundation and based in Versailles, Kentucky. James Smither (J.S.) Abercrombie was a civic leader in Houston, an oilman and a philanthropist. While the J.S. Abercrombie Foundation focused on hospital grants and the Texas Heart Institute, his only child, Josephine Abercrombie, now leads the Abercrombie Foundation and provides broader support. Josephine Abercrombie has been a thoroughbred owner and breeder, a boxing promoter, and founded the Lexington School. Tax filings suggest the foundation funds education, animal welfare, human services, the environment, health, and arts and culture.

The foundation does not have a website to guide grantseekers. However, it regularly awards grants in communities with close connections to the family. Past support has funded many Lexington, Kentucky organizations, including Bluegrass Tomorrow, Commonwealth Fund for KET, the Lexington School, the Lexington Theatre Company, and Spindletop Hall Development Fund.

Foundation grants range between $1,000 and $25,000. Review the funder’s recent tax records to learn more about its local giving. The foundation’s giving is largely focused on Lexington, Kentucky. However, it also supports Texas causes somewhat less frequently in Houston and horse racing-related organizations nationwide. Abercrombie does not provide support to private foundations.

This foundation does not accept unsolicited grant applications from nonprofits and only supports pre-selected organizations. The phone number to reach the foundation staff is 859-983-4477, and the foundation manager and president is Josephine Abercrombie.


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