Roy & Christine Sturgis Charitable Trust

OVERVIEW: The Roy & Christine Sturgis Charitable Trust 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: Established in 1981, the Roy & Christine Sturgis Charitable Trust serves both Arkansas and Texas. 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.

Within these focus areas, grantseekers 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. 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 Texas office of Bank of America Philanthropic Solutions currently manages the Sturgis Charitable Trust. One example grantee is 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.

In a recent year, this foundation has awarded at least 444 grants to 260 or more organizations and totaling over $14.9 million. Learn more about the funder’s local giving by examining its tax records. 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. Nonprofits that receive a Sturgis grant must wait two years before submitting a new application.  

Sturgis accepts unsolicited grant applications from local nonprofits. This funder awards local grants once per year and has an application deadline of March 1. A majority of the grants here are for one year, although multi-year support is occasionally granted as well. The application can be downloaded from the funder’s website, as well as details about grant procedures and a PDF with online application tips. Direct grantseeker questions to the staff at tx.philanthropic@ustrust.com or by phone at 214-209-1965. 

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