J. F. Maddox Foundation: Southeastern New Mexico Grants

OVERVIEW: The J.F. Maddox Foundation exclusively funds nonprofit causes in the most southeastern county of New Mexico, Lea County. Education is a top priority, and youth causes, social services, and community development initiatives are also regularly considered for grants. The foundation reported over $290 million in total assets and more than $5.1 million in total giving at the end of a recent year; grant amounts vary in size.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, youth, social services, community development

IP TAKE: The Maddox Foundation prides itself on its open door policy, so call the foundation office to get more information about applying for a grant. Get creative and find something innovative to pitch on the phone. But beforehand, see how your organization compares to the list of representative grantees posted on the foundation website.

PROFILE: Established in 1963, southeastern New Mexico residents Jack and Mabel Maddox lived a life of philanthropy and contributed to many local education, youth, and community development projects near their home. They moved to Hobbs in 1931, when Jack began a career spanning the utility industry, real estate development, gas pipeline operations and banking.

The Maddox Foundation has one of the narrowest geographical focuses that we’ve seen so far in the Southwest. Funding is restricted to nonprofits in Lea County, New Mexico, which includes the cities of Tatum, Lovington, Hobbs, Eunice, and Jal. According to the 2010 census, Lea County has a population of only 64,727 people. Historically, Lea County’s geographic isolation has kept it off the radar of other funders.

Education is a top priority of the Maddox Foundation, and one of the very first foundation programs was a student loan program. This has since evolved into the Jack Maddox Distinguished Scholarship Program, which awards five annual scholarships to Lea County high school students. Rather than pushing for a school reform agenda, Maddox has worked to get input from teachers, principals, and school district leaders, and it has paid for professional development and startup costs.

The foundation looks for grantees that stand to gain significant leverage with foundation funds, promises to become self-supporting over time, and aims to improve local leadership in the community. Grants have recently been awarded to Fiestas de Septiembre, GRADS Teen Pregnancy Program, Heart’s Desire Recovery Outreach, Juneteenth, and Science It’s a Girls Thing. Boys and Girls Clubs, local Habitat for Humanity and United Way chapters, local museums, and public schools have also seen Maddox support recently.

Longstanding Maddox beautification initiatives have focused on the Hobbs downtown area, Lovington Highway, and Joe Harvey Boulevard. Due to a significant dependence upon oil and gas production, Hobbs is a community that has seen dramatic cyclical economic swings. Over the years, Maddox has also been a bit supporter of elementary schools and secondary schools in Hobbs. Through the Lea County Hunger Initiative, Maddox has partnered with the Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Club, and local food banks and soup kitchens to provide food to the needy.

Executive Director Bob Reid shared some insightful information about the Maddox Foundation’s approach to philanthropy:

We have an open door policy and actively engage with our grantees. They know us very well as we do them. We encourage our grantees to interact with us before submitting formal requests so that we may be as help as possible. The foundation's grant programs involve a wide array of domains. We have highly developed theories and logic models for each domain, but experience suggests that grantees too have much to offer in this regard.  So, we try not to let our internal theories and logic models interfere with grantee creativity and innovation. Instead, we actively and continuously seek to interact with grantees—not just when applying for grants, but all of the time.

That's the kind of thinking we love to hear from foundation leaders. Reid comes from a background in healthcare management, previously serving as the vice president of the Healthcare America Medical Surgical Division, the president and CEO of Avid Healthcare, and Hospital CEO for Healthcare International.

The foundation reported over $290 million in total assets and more than $5.1 million in total giving at the end of a recent year. In the past, the foundation has made around 250 grants between $100 and $500,000 each, and a few foundation-administered programs and loan/program related investment programs too. 

To contact the Maddox staff about getting a grant for your Lea County nonprofit, call 575-393-6338. Individual staff member contact information is also listed on the foundation website.


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