David and Lura Lovell Foundation

OVERVIEW: This Tucson, Arizona, funder supports mental health, integrative health and wellness, youth access to the arts, and gender parity. It has been a leader in end-of-life care funding in Arizona.

FUNDING AREAS: Mental health, integrative health and wellness, youth access to the arts, gender parity

IP TAKE: Come to this funder for niche health support that other Southwest funders tend to overlook. Key examples are nursing education, end-of-life care, and alternative/complementary medicine.

PROFILE: The David and Lura Lovell Foundation, established in 1994, is a family outfit that supports causes near to its founders' hearts. It is based in Tucson, Arizona, and focuses much of its grantmaking in the state. The couple’s wealth came from David’s companies, Coulton Chemical Corp. and Cairo Chemical Corp. Grantmaking areas are mental health, integrative health and wellness, youth access to the arts, and gender parity.

The Lovell’s son was born with brain damage and diagnosed with Asperger’s, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. This has driven the couple’s commitment to mental health. David Lovell was diagnosed with lung cancer and learned about meditation from a nurse, sparking an interest in integrative medicine. Other family members have used integrative medicine to cope with illnesses as well, and those treatment modalities have become a unique point of interest for the foundation. The Lovells have also been passionate about cultural enrichment, especially for youth. Gender parity involves equal access to resources for all people and leveling the playing field between genders. This is a newer focus area for the foundation.

In its first 20 years of grantmaking, Lovell gave $11 million across at least 60 nonprofits. This money went to both local and national projects. In a recent year, Lovell gave $1.2 million to 21 nonprofits. Two of these grants went to mental health, six to integrative health and wellness, six to youth access to the arts, and seven to projects of particular interest to family members. One grant of $200,000 went to the University of Arizona College of Nursing for a nursing faculty fellowship. A list of past grants awarded in each category can be viewed here.

In Arizona, the Lovell Foundation has emerged as a top funder of end-of-life care issues. It has partnered with local community foundations to award millions of dollars of grants for this often-neglected cause.

This foundation accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry via email. These may be submitted at any time of the year. The staff will invite groups to send full proposals for its next competitive grant round. Full proposals are typically due on April 1 for consideration at June board meetings and November 1 for consideration at January meetings.

Groups in Tucson and greater Pima County, Arizona, are often given priority. Other geographic areas of interest are the San Francisco Bay Area, Eugene, Oregon, and Hawaii. It also has a donor advised fund at the Toledo Community Foundation and supports groups working in the area of mental health there.

Lura Lovell was the foundation’s driving force for many years until her death in 2013. Second and third generation family members run the Lovell foundation today. General questions can be directed to the staff at info@lovellfoundation.org or 520-325-3656. The foundation’s executive director, John C. Amoroso, can be reached directly at john@lovellfoundation.org.

You can keep up with this funder's interests at its news section. Recent grant announcements to local groups in Southern Arizona are posted here. Requests for proposals may be posted on the funder’s website as well.

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