First Tennessee Foundation

OVERVIEW: The First Tennessee Foundation supports communities in Tennessee in the areas of arts and culture, education, environment, financial literacy, and health services.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts and culture, education, environment, financial literacy, health services

IP TAKE: Education is a top cause for this funder, so focus proposals on teacher effectiveness, local K-12 schools, and financial literacy for youth.

PROFILE: The First Tennessee Foundation (FTF) is one of two entities that the First Horizon Foundation, established in 1993, operates under as the charitable giving arm of First Horizon National Corporation. This is a bank funder, and the other entity that covers a separate geographic region is the Capital Bank Foundation. The foundation serves nonprofits in the communities the bank serves. Grantmaking includes arts and culture, education, environment, financial literacy, and health services.

FTF’s art grants support excellence and enrichment in the arts mostly in Memphis but also in Nashville, East Tennessee/Knoxville, Northeast Tennessee, and Chattanooga. Education grants make up about one-third of FTF giving and support efforts to educate youth in Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Northeast Tennessee, East Tennessee/Knoxville, and Chattanooga. Financial literacy grants go towards youth education efforts, training volunteers to advise adults about financial literacy, and healthy job markets. Health services grants are largely filtered through local United Way campaigns in the aforementioned parts of Tennessee. Finally, environmental support funds green projects across Tennessee related to open spaces, outdoor recreation, and land preservation.

Foundation grants range from about $5,000 to $25,000. Past grantees are included on each individual program area page. Overall, FTF funding is typically restricted to Tennessee. As a general rule, this foundation does not fund trips, tours, individuals, K-12 schools, political or religious causes, operating budget deficits, or charities that redistribute funds.

The funder accepts unsolicited grant requests from local organizations between October 1 and December 1. Staff members review applications, and regional leader review selected applications to make grant decisions. Grants are awarded in late-March. Each region of Tennessee has its own specific regional manager to contact with grant requests.


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