City of Muskogee Foundation: Southwest (Oklahoma) Grants

OVERVIEW: This funder supports many causes in and around Muskogee, Oklahoma, including education, arts, culture, community revitalization and beautification, social services, healthcare, economic development, infrastructure, housing, and recreation.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, arts, culture, community revitalization and beautification, social services, healthcare, economic development, infrastructure, housing, recreation

IP TAKE: Something that’s stood out about this grantmaker is the high percentage of grants it funds based on the number of applications received. Nearly any effective organization in town can get involved.

PROFILE: The City of Muskogee Foundation was established in 2008 when Capella Healthcare and the Muskogee Regional Health Center agreed to lease Muskogee Regional Medical Center for 40 years. City officials in Muskogee created this foundation from the net proceeds of this hospital lease, however, the foundation supports more than just health causes.

In fact, this locally focused foundation supports a variety of organizations in the areas of education, arts, culture, community revitalization and beautification, social services, healthcare, economic development, infrastructure, housing, and recreation. It awards grants to local nonprofits, schools, churches and to the city of Muskogee.

Economic development grants typically go to towards capital, incentives, infrastructure and assessments. Typical causes are job creation and retention, higher wages, tourism promotion, city infrastructure investments, and opportunities to increase tax revenues. Education grants go to programs and projects that promote leadership development, career skills, early intervention, high school graduation, STEM studies, parental involvement, at-risk students, after-school programs and college scholarships.

Priority for foundation health and wellness grants is given to projects related to tobacco prevention, obesity reduction, children’s health, generational poverty, teen pregnancy and at-risk populations. Under the umbrella of “quality of life” grantmaking, the foundation supports programs for arts and culture, safety and security, and beautification and preservation.

Recently, there has been a regular grants cycle and a separate summer grants cycle. For the regular cycle, letters of inquiry have been due in February and full grant applications due in May. The summer grant cycle is for summer programs only for the following year.

To apply for a grant, you’ll need to create an account on the online grants portal. The process starts with a letter of inquiry, and applicants will be notified by email if they are invited to submit a full grant application. You can see a list of recent grantees by year on the foundation’s grants page. In a recent year, the foundation reported over $141 million in total assets.

Only organizations that primarily serve the city of Muskogee are eligible to apply for grants. This does include schools and churches, and multi-year grants are awarded.

General questions can be directed to the staff at (918) 577-6562 or via email to dthompson@cityofmuskogeefoundation.org. The foundation is overseen by a board of directors and the Muskogee City Council chose the Community Foundation of Oklahoma to manage daily operations.

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