OVERVIEW: This funder supports five counties in Southwest Alabama in the areas of education, youth, economic development, arts and culture, and civic engagement. Grants requests are due the first of the month preceding committee meetings five times per year.
FUNDING AREAS: Post-secondary education, youth, civic engagement, arts and culture, economic development
IP TAKE: This is another very localized Southeast funder that sticks to a small geographic area and a wide variety of funding interests. The application process is old-school and must be done on paper and via mail.
PROFILE: The J. L. Bedsole Foundation seeks “to ensure the continuing health, welfare and prosperity of the citizens of Southwest Alabama by providing greater post secondary educational opportunities for […] worthy youth and by supporting expanded civic, cultural, artistic and economic development opportunities for all citizens of [the] area.” Bedsole was heavily involved in the Bedsole-Colvin Drug Company, S. B. Adams Lumber Company, Bedsole Investment Company, and Mobile Fixture and Equipment Company. He was also the director of the First National Bank of Mobile for over five decades and involved as a board member of many other local organizations. He established the foundation in 1949, and it was fully funded after his death in 1975.
Top funding priorities include post-secondary education, youth, civic engagement, arts and culture, and economic development. Grants typically support hospitals, schools, universities, research institutions, orphanages, elder care institutions, and institutions to care for the disabled. Funding also supports health institutions, youth camps, and playgrounds. A broad range of social services, health services, and civic and economic development programs receive this funder’s local support.
Funding is typically restricted to these five counties in Southwest Alabama: Mobile, Baldwin, Clarke, Monroe, and Washington.
To apply for a grant, grant seekers need to submit a proposal on an 8½" x 11" sheet of paper with print only on one side. These must be sent via mail to the funder’s P.O. Box in Mobile. Grant requests will be reviewed for impact, innovation, and leverage.
The grants committee meets fives times per year: in February, April, June, September, and December, so grant requests are due on the first of the month preceding each of these meetings. View more information about grant guidelines here. It does not make grants to organizations or for projects outside of the state of Alabama, for multiyear projects, or for political activities.
In addition to grants, the Bedsole Foundation also provides scholarship support to local students. The J.L. Bedsole Alumni Association works with former scholarship recipients to stay connected and pursue ongoing funding for future scholarships. The foundation also accepts donations for its scholarship program.
Submit grant questions via online form. The executive assistant handles questions regarding scholarships. The office phone number is 251-432-3369.
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