Around this time last year, we checked in with Oklahoma City’s Inasmuch Foundation to learn about the types of local causes it supports around the state. So now that another round of Inasmuch grants has been announced, we couldn’t help but notice $6.68 million in new money flowing to a couple dozen Oklahoma organizations.
The program areas haven’t changed much at all over the last year: education, health and human services, and community enhancement. However, one focus has emerged as the top priority: health and human services. There were 17 new health and human services grantees named in the most recent grant cycle. The big winner here was the Integris Foundation, which received $2 million to construct an addiction treatment center. All of the other H&HS grants fell between $10,000 and $500,000, with the Homeless Alliance and the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma both receiving the larger amount.
Two things to note here are the foundation’s commitment to mental health, and affordable housing for the mentally ill and homeless. It’s not surprising to see this funding area come out on top because it has in past cycles, as well. Past support has gone to a fair share of behavioral sciences, substance abuse and criminal rehabilitation programs.
There were 12 education grants awarded in the most recent cycle, with the Oklahoma Public School Resource Center and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce coming out on top among education grantees. Education grants ranged from $25,000 to $300,000. A couple of things to note about Inasmuch education giving are its support for charter schools and its approach to science and math funding via faculty stipends and lab remodeling. Education grants often go toward building renovations, especially the high-dollar ones.
Finally, there were six community enhancement grantees in the recent cycle, including a million-dollar grant to the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation for a capital campaign. Other grant amounts were between $30,000 and $200,000, awarded to renovate public green spaces, boost river conservation efforts, and support a Native American museum. This is typically the lowest funded category at the foundation.
Inasmuch has recently supported small local theaters, especially in the realm of business and construction costs. These types of grants stand out because this funder doesn’t often dabble in the arts. But they aren’t the norm, and there has been no announcement that funding for the arts will increase any time soon.
The amount of funds released in the most recent grant cycle ($6.68 million) is fairly typical of the Inasmuch Foundation. In May 2015, the funder announced $7.764 million in grants, $5.79 million in November 2014, and $7.35 million in May 2014. Meanwhile, Inasmuch support for Colorado Springs groups falls more in the $100,000 to $300,000 range per cycle.
So to recap, here are a few suggestions about what to present to the Inasmuch Foundation for the next cycle, for which letters of inquiry are due between December 15 and February 15. Sign into the Inasmuch online grant request system to get started with your letter.
- Affordable housing for homeless and mentally ill people in Oklahoma
- Substance abuse and addiction services
- Mental health, statewide
- Capital, building, and equipment costs
- Small local theaters that offer a community benefit
- Public green spaces
- Charter schools