Marshall Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Marshall Foundation supports education, social services, arts and culture, and early childhood development causes in Tucson and Pima County, Arizona.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, social services, arts and culture, early childhood development

IP TAKE: This group's founder had a fascinating story and strong dedication to Tucson. Different procedures may apply whether a grant request is under or over $5,000.

PROFILE: Established in 1930, the Marshall Foundation is based in Tucson, Arizona. Louise Foucar Marshall was a university professor, businesswoman, and philanthropist. Louise and her husband, Thomas, created the organization as the very first private foundation in Arizona. Louise had received a sizable inheritance from her parents and had a talent for real estate investing. Her other passion was helping young women attend the University of Arizona. Thomas was a former student of Louise's, and after rumors of his affair with an ex-housekeeper, it was determined that Louise had been poisoned with arsenic. This led to Louise shooting Thomas five times at point-blank range, resulting in his death and Louise being charged with first-degree murder. She was one of the most prominent citizens of Tucson at the time, and the jury was ultimately persuaded by her emotional testimony and acquitted her. She went back to managing real estate holdings and promoting the work of the Marshall Foundation until her death in 1956 at the age of 92. The foundation was the sole beneficiary of Louise’s estate. Grantmaking areas of interest are education, social services, arts and culture, and early childhood development.

Today, the foundation typically gives approximately $1.5 million to nonprofits in the local area each year. The University of Arizona receives over $500,000 annually in scholarship funds and nearly half of the foundation’s total annual donations. Funding categories are institutional university and college scholarships, children and youth programs, arts and cultural organizations and programs, education, rehabilitation, community service organizations, and medical research. The Marshall Foundation does not fund general operating support, annual support, repeat funding for most projects already funded, or anything outside Pima County. However, the funder does provide support for building projects, programs, exhibits, scholarships, furniture, vehicles, and employee compensation.

Foundation grants are often under $5,000, although it awards larger grants than this as well on an occasional basis. The foundation does not have an online grants database. Grants are largely focused on Pima County, Arizona and the city of Tucson.

The foundation considers grant requests are considered two times per year, and the application process is all online. Letters of intent are due on January 31 and May 31. Within three weeks of those deadlines, the funder sends out invitations to submit full proposals. Direct general questions to the staff at 520-622-8613 or via online form.

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