Frist Foundation: Grants for Tennessee

OVERVIEW: The Frist Foundation is dedicated to sustaining and improving the quality of life in Nashville, Tennessee. It strongly supports Frist Art Museum and Nashville Zoo.

IP TAKE: The foundation recently focused on agencies serving vulnerable people, and in supporting efforts by nonprofit organizations to develop new sources of earned revenue and improve their managerial and technological infrastructure.

PROFILE: Established in 1982, the Frist Foundation is steered by the Frist family, who have strong ties to Tennessee. Billionaire Thomas Frist Jr. and family are behind Hospital Corp. of America. The Frist Foundation is dedicated to sustaining and improving the quality of life in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Since 2001, much of Frist’s funding has been directed to Frist Art Museum. In 2015 alone support for the Frist Art Museum accounted for more than one-third of the foundation’s $15 million in grant distributions. The Nashville Zoo has also been receiving support at the same level. In 2018, the foundation continues a special focus on agencies serving vulnerable people, and in “supporting efforts by nonprofit organizations to develop new sources of earned revenue and improve their managerial and technological infrastructure.” Frist allocates more than $100,000 each year for the Frist Foundation Awards of Achievement, which are distributed through the Center for Nonprofit Management to organizations. In a recent year, Frist distributed nearly $500,000 through a Technology Grant Program to help organizations acquire software and equipment to work more effectively and efficiently. 

Grants range from $1,000 to $250,000, though a more typical range is $3,000 to $20,000. In a recent fiscal year, the foundation gave away around $14.7 million. Past grantees include Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Family And Children's Service, Teach for America, The Salvation Army, YMCA of Middle Tennessee, Center for Nonprofit Management, University of Virginia, and United Way of Metropolitan Nashville.

With the exception of the technology grants and the Awards of Achievement, Frist’s application process typically begins with a phone conversation. While there are no deadlines for requests, larger grants are typically approved at board meetings taking place in January, April, July and October. 

PEOPLE:

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CONTACT:

The Frist Foundation
100 West End Ave., Suite 1200.
Nashville, Tennessee 37203