Merrick Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder is run by Foundation Management Inc. and focuses on south-central Oklahoma. Top interests are education, human services, and community development. Letters of intent are due once per year.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, economic development, arts and culture, self-sufficiency, health and wellness, human services, humanities

IP TAKE: The management company in charge here is a good one to get to know because it assists lots of Oklahoma foundations. Get familiar with the team and what each of their foundations focus on.

PROFILE: The Merrick Foundation was established by Ward S. Merrick Sr. on behalf of his parents, F.W. Merrick and Elizabeth B. Merrick. It was founded in 1948. Today, it is run by Foundation Management, which represents about 14 family foundations, a community foundation, a charitable foundation, a charitable trust, and a public trust. A list of the other foundations this company assists can be viewed here.

The mission of the Merrick Foundation is to improve the health and quality of life for people in Oklahoma, with a primary focus on south-central Oklahoma. It awards grants to nonprofits working in this region that address independence, education, economic growth, and arts and culture. Most of the funder’s recent support has gone to education – about 40 percent in a recent year, when 23 percent went to human services, 18 percent to community development, 12 percent to arts, culture, and humanities, and seven percent to health and wellness.

In the past, Merrick has supported the Ardmore YMCA, the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, and health education in Oklahoma colleges and universities. Significant support has also gone to the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, the University of Oklahoma, and Oklahoma Christian University. You can view a list of grants awarded by year in the foundation’s annual reports. All grants have a very local focus.

There is one letter of intent deadline per year, typically in July. Then the application deadline is in October, decisions are made in November, and grants are funded in December. The application process is all online and can accessed through the foundation website.

The Merrick Foundation has 16 Class I directors, three Class II directors, and one Class III director. There are about 13 staff members at Foundation Management. General questions for the Merrick Foundation can be directed to the Oklahoma City office at 405-755-5571 or via email at This email will go to Will Merrick, the executive vice president of Foundation Management. Other individual staff members' email addresses are linked on the staff page.


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