The Ross Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder accepts pre-proposals throughout the year from groups in Clark County, Arkansas, in the following areas: education, arts and cultural enrichment, community beautification and improvement, historical preservation, mental health and the developmentally disabled, forestry and research and conservation management.

FUNDING AREAS: Conservation, education, and community

IP TAKE: This funder has a very narrow geographic focus, so it’s a great one to know if you live in the Arkadelphia area. Nearly any type of nonprofit in these small towns has a chance here, if pitching a local program.

PROFILE: The Ross Foundation is based in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and was founded in 1966 by Jane and Esther Ross. The initial endowment came from the estate of Esther’s father/Jane’s grandfather, J.G. Clark.

Giving is focused on Clark County. The board of directors administers a grants program and also manages timberlands for conservation purposes. The philanthropy program benefits from revenue produced by these timberlands. Accordingly, you’ll often find notices about controlled burns, land permits, and logging operations on the foundation’s website. The foundation has about 63,000 acres of land in Clark and Hot Spring Counties that’s used for conservation and charitable purposes. The foundation maintains that its management techniques improve the value of forest resources and allow public access for recreational use.

In its grantmaking, this funder is mostly concerned with conservation, education, and community. Specific areas of grantmaking are education, arts and cultural enrichment, community beautification and improvement, historical preservation, mental health and the developmentally disabled, forestry and research and conservation management. Overall, grantmaking is restricted to Clark County, Arkansas.

To apply for a grant, you must first complete a pre-proposal form to pitch your idea. These are accepted any time of the year. The board meets once per month and reviews all the pre-proposals on hand at those times. If they're interested, Ross will request a full proposal. Full proposals are due October 1, February 1, and June 1.

Forms for the pre-proposal, the full proposal, and a full proposal checklist can be found on the Ross website. The foundation has also contributed to a scholarship program in partnership with Southern Bancorp called Arkadelphia Promise.

The foundation has three office staff members, five land management staff members, and six members of the board of trustees. General questions can be directed to the office staff at 870-246-9881 or info@rossfoundation.us.

PEOPLE:

  • Mary Elizabeth Eldridge, Director of Programs
  • Amanda Fenocchi, Office Manager/Assistant Grants Officer
  • Nikki Chandler, Administrative Assistant

LINKS: