Inasmuch Foundation: Oklahoma Grants

OVERVIEW: The Inasmuch Foundation puts a high priority on nonprofit organizations in Oklahoma, with a wide range of education, health & human services and community enhancement programs on its radar. The foundation does accept unsolicited grant requests, and there are two funding cycles with deadlines in February and August. Inasmuch has reported nearly $432 million in assets.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, health, human services, community enhancement

IP TAKE: Million dollar grants aren’t uncommon for the Inasmuch Foundation, which has been awarding around $15-20 million per year to Oklahoma nonprofits lately. Although the foundation’s name has religious overtones, Inasmuch doesn’t typically fund religious causes. The largest grants have been going to health and human services organizations lately.

PROFILE: A quiet philanthropist in Oklahoma, Edith Kinney Gaylord, established the Inasmuch Foundation in 1982. This foundation supports education, health and human services, arts, historic preservation and environmental projects in the state of Oklahoma and Colorado Springs, Colorado. The foundation’s name comes from the Gospel of Saint Matthew, which reads "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Gaylord's father was the editor and publisher of The Oklahoman and The Oklahoma City Times, and she began a journalism career in both newspaper and radio. She served as secretary of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s press conference committee before rejoining the family business, the Oklahoma Publishing Company, in 1963.To further carry out her philanthropic efforts, she also established the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. Gaylord passed away in 2001.

Today, the Inasmuch Foundation has three grantmaking priorities: education, health and human services, and community enhancement. Although Oklahoma is the focus of foundation grantmaking, it also reserves some funds each year for projects in Colorado Springs, the city where Gaylord first attended college. In a past year, the foundation reported nearly $432 million in assets and over $19 million in total giving. 

Inasmuch made headlines for distributing $11.3 million in grants to 37 Oklahoma organizations. Past education grants include $1 million to the American Indian Cultural Center Foundation and $500,000 to Science Museum Oklahoma. To show its support for health and human services, Inasmuch gave $3 million to Sunbeam Family Services and $2 million to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Community enhancement grants included $1 million to the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation and $200,000 to the Oklahoma Philharmonic Society. These were among the largest grants in that cycle, and other awards were made for $25,000 and $165,000. For comparison, the Inasmuch Foundation distributed just $303,500 in grants to 15 Colorado Springs-based organizations for a recent grant period.

The education category is open to early childhood education programs, PreK-12 programs, and even higher education programs. Health and human services funding is for basic needs, access to care, mental health, substance abuse, and research. And community enhancement grants typically go toward arts & culture, economic development, historic preservation, and the environment.

The foundation does accept unsolicited grant requests and uses an online system for submissions. Local nonprofits need to submit letters of inquiry by 5 p.m. on either February 15 or August 15 to be considered in the next review period, and letters are accepted up to two months prior to the deadline. As a general rule, Inasmuch does not provide grants to individuals or for endowments. Check out the Apply section of the website for updated information.

Inasmuch is led by a six-man board of directors and a five-woman advisory team. William J. Ross is the chairman of the board and Robert J. Ross is the president and CEO. Robert has a law degree from the University of Oklahoma and has been in this foundation role since 2003.

To get in touch about the foundation’s application process, you can reach out to Senior Program Officer Nancy Hodgkinson at nancy.hodgkinson@inasmuchfoundation.org or Program Officer Sarah Roberts at sarah.roberts@inasmuchfoundation.org. For general inquiries, the foundation’s phone number is 405-604-5292. You can also keep up with recent foundation happenings by checking out the News section.

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