Hardesty Family Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Hardesty Family Foundation supports nonprofits in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area with large capital grants for building construction and renovation projects, mostly related to the arts, mental health, and court system reforms.

FUNDING AREAS: Local building renovation and construction projects, the arts, mental health, addiction recovery, wellness, court system changes

IP TAKE: It can be difficult to approach and get in the door with this funder for grantseekers that are not already connected. However, well-established nonprofits looking to upgrade a facility in Tulsa should still reach out to the foundation staff.

PROFILE: Established in 2005, the Hardesty Family Foundation (HFF) is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the foundation of F. Roger Hardesty and his wife, Donna J. Hardesty. Mr. Hardesty is the founder and CEO of United States Aviation Co. and The Hardesty Companies, both Oklahoma-based organizations. The foundation aims to “promote and serve Oklahoma 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organizations.” Grantmaking areas of interest are local building renovation and construction projects, the arts, mental health, addiction recovery, wellness, and court system changes.

At present, the foundation is focusing on large capital grants in the Tulsa area. This includes building and facility construction and large renovation projects. The vast majority of these grantees are hand-selected by the foundation board. As a rule, Hardesty does not support start-up organizations, rather preferring to fund well-established groups. Within the realm of mental health, it commonly supports the capital campaign and program-related investment needs of addiction recovery and wellness organizations. Over the years, HFF has supported libraries, primary and secondary education, universities, aviation, research, arts and culture, civic and community, nature and environmental, and health and human services causes.

Foundation grants are often a few thousand dollars, but some reach the million-dollar mark. Learn more about past foundation support on the projects page of the funder’s website. Funded projects include the Tulsa Zoo’s Hardesty Snow Leopard Exhibit, Hardesty Hall at Tulsa University, and the Hardesty Archival Center at the Gilcrease Museum. Grants often come with naming rights. The geographic focus of this foundation is Tulsa, Oklahoma, and surrounding areas. Grants outside this region are rare. Applicants cannot apply for a new grant within 12 months of receiving or being denied a grant. The funder may also provide PRIs with an expected return payment.

The foundation does not accept unsolicited grant applications from nonprofits. If the foundation board is interested in a new nonprofit campaign, it will request a letter of intent prior to requesting a full application. The board establishes the grantmaking programs, grant commitments, guidelines, policies, and investments. Potential grantees will be notified by email if they are selected for consideration in an upcoming grant cycle. Final grant decisions are made jointly by at least two directors on the board. The HFF board meets two or three times per year, and the application process is entirely online. Direct general questions to the staff at 918-560-9260.

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