Roy & Christine Sturgis Charitable Trust

OVERVIEW: This funder primarily supports nonprofits in Arkansas but some grants go to the Dallas, Texas, area. Interest are arts, culture, humanities, education, health, and human services.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts, culture, humanities, education, health, human services

IP TAKE: This is one of quite a few foundations in the region for which Bank of America serves as a trustee. Browse through the list of BOA foundations to learn about others.

PROFILE: The Roy & Christine Sturgis Charitable Trust was established in 1981 in Arkansas. Roy Sturgis was the son of an Arkansas farmer and homemaker, joined the U.S. Navy during World War I, and came back to Southern Arkansas to work in a local sawmill. He and his wife became successful in the sawmill, timber, and lumber industries and had no children. They lived in both Arkansas and Dallas, Texas, where they focused their philanthropy on education, youth, health, social services, and the arts.

Today, the trust supports and promotes quality educational, cultural, human services, and health care programming for all people. This funder awards local grants once per year, with an application deadline of March 1. Most of the grants here are for one year, although multiyear support is occasionally granted as well. You can apply for capital, project, medical research, and endowment campaign grants. General operating support and start-up program support are rarer, but not out of the question.

About 65 percent of annual grants are made within Arkansas, with the other 35 percent going to groups in Texas. For Texas, preference is given to nonprofits in the Dallas area. If you receive a Sturgis grant, you must wait two years before submitting a new application.  

The application can be downloaded from the funder’s website, and the annual deadline is always March 1. Grant procedures and a PDF with online application tips can also be downloaded. According to Foundation Center data, this foundation has awarded at least 444 grants to 260 or more organizations and totaling over $14.9 million. One grantee was AVANCE-Dallas, a group that provides educational programs to at-risk kids, which received a $10,000 grant for a technological infrastructure project. The trust also established fellowship, study abroad, and international fellows’ programs within the J. William Fulbright College Arts and Science at the University of Arkansas.

Sturgis relies on Bank of America to handle grantmaking administration. Bank of America serves as a trustee, co-trustee, or agent to many private foundations without full-time staff. The Sturgis Charitable Trust is currently managed by the Texas office of Bank of America Philanthropic Solutions.

Debra Goldstein Phares, the philanthropic client director for the Texas office, is your best contact for both Arkansas and Texas grants. Grantseeker questions should be directed to her at The best phone number is 214-209-1965, and the address for the Roy & Christine Sturgis Charitable Trust is 901 Main Street, 19th Floor, Dallas, Texas, 75202.



  • Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only.)