W.L. Lyons Brown Foundation

OVERVIEW: The W.L. Lyons Brown Foundation prioritizes the city of Louisville, Kentucky through grantmaking that serves quality of life, museums, parks, education, and the arts.

FUNDING AREAS: Quality of life, museums, parks, education, the arts

IP TAKE: The Brown family has widespread philanthropic pursuits, but prioritizes the Louisville community. It also generously supports local museums. Unfortunately, the foundation lacks transparency limiting information on its strategies.

PROFILE: Established in 1962, the W.L. Lyons Brown Foundation is based in Louisville, Kentucky. This funder is not to be confused with the W.L. Lyons Brown, Jr. Charitable Foundation, which is also based in Louisville, Kentucky, but was founded in 1993. This foundation is named after the late William Lee Lyons Brown, heir to the Brown-Forman fortune and who passed away in 1973. The W.L. Lyons Brown Foundation is run by the founder’s daughter, Ina B. Bond, who serves as the current president. According to tax filings, the foundation supports quality of life, museums, parks, education, and the arts.

The foundation does not have a website to guide grantseekers. However, this funder supports a wide range of causes in the city of Louisville. Past local grantees include the Cardinal Athletic Fund, Filson Club Historical Society, J.B. Speed Art Museum, Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, and the Kentucky School of Art. It has also awarded grants to the Kentucky Science Center, Louisville Public Media, the Muhammad Ali Center, and the Passionist Earth and Sprint Center.

Foundation grants tend to be between $5,000 and $100,000. Review the funder’s recent tax records to learn more about its local giving. The foundation’s giving is largely focused on Louisville, Kentucky. However, the foundation has also awarded occasional grants to groups in Goshen, Kentucky, Delray Beach, Florida, Nashville, Tennessee, and West Palm Beach, Florida. As a general rule, the foundation does not support, loans, scholarships, sectarian projects, or individuals.

This foundation does not accept unsolicited grant applications from nonprofits and considers funding requests by invitation only. The phone number to reach the foundation staff is 502-585-4649, and the foundation administrator is Susan Nicholson.


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