OVERVIEW: Founded in 2002, the Sarah and Ross Perot Jr. Foundation is the philanthropic vehicle of billionaire Ross Perot Jr. and his wife Sarah. Much of their grantmaking takes place in Dallas, and Texas at large.
FUNDING AREAS: Education, arts & culture, environment, religious organizations
IP TAKE: The foundation's largest sums appear to be going to higher education, but Perot spreads its money around, giving around $4 million annually in recent years. The foundation has no website but appears to be open to applications.
PROFILE: Son of businessman and politician Ross Perot and his wife Margot, Henry Ross Perot, Jr. hasn't just lived in his father's shadow. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Perot graduated from St. Mark's School of Texas in 1977, and later went to Vanderbilt University. He served in the U.S. Air Force for eight and a half years and then as chairman of the Air Force Memorial Foundation. Perot has also expanded his family fortunes, largely through real estate.
Perot and his wife Sarah Fullinwider Perot, daughter of oil man Jerry Fullinwider, established the Sarah and Ross Perot Jr. Foundation in 2002. The couple is very active in the Texas community and serves on many boards. In addition to serving as president of the foundation, Sarah is on the board of Southern Methodist University in Dallas and also served as development chair of the AT&T Performing Arts Center.
A lot of the couple's Texas philanthropy fellows a trail of board memberships and personal connections. St. Mark's School of Texas, for instance, received upwards of $3 million between a couple recent years. Around $1 million also went to Southern Methodist University, and smaller sums have gone to the Episcopal School of Dallas. In 2011, Perot also established the Jerome M. Fullinwider Chair in Economic Freedom at Southern Methodist University, in Sarah's father's name.
The couple has been a strong funder of arts and culture in the Dallas area and beyond. A major part of this has included Dallas' own Perot Museum of Nature and Science, an amalgamation of several different museums which in 2008 was renamed the Perot Museum as a result of a $50 million gift from Perot and his four sisters. The outfit is named in honor of Ross Perot Sr. and Margot.
In recent years, modest sums have gone to the Perot Museum for its continued support. As well, the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas has received around $300,000 million annually in recent years. Other sums have gone to the Dallas Museum of Art, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth.
A component of the couple's philanthropy also appears to involve the environment. They've been supporters of the UT Austin Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, towards programming related to native plant conservation and ecological problems, among other things. Outside of Texas, support has gone to outfits such as NY Botanical Garden.
The couple has also bankrolled several human services outfits recently such as Nexus, which provides "support to low income women and their families affected by addiction." Money has also gone to the Salvation Army in Dallas. On an international level, the couple has also supported the Global Fund for Children.
Perot is only in his 50s, so there's still a lot more the foundation could do in the coming years. Perot recently bought a plot of land next to the Perot Museum of Nature & Science in Dallas, where he plans to build a skyscraper. While the foundation doesn't appear to have a website, or a sizeable staff, they do appear to accept applications. In a recent year, the foundation reported over $15 million in assets and more than $2.2 million in total giving.
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The Sarah and Ross Perot Jr. Foundation
c/o Kristen Garcia
5500 Preston Rd., Ste. 365
Dallas, TX 75205