OVERVIEW: The Sarkeys Foundation supports education, social services, human services, culture, humanitarian programs, scientific research, and animal welfare throughout the state of Oklahoma.
FUNDING AREAS: Education, social services, human services, culture, humanitarian programs, scientific research, animal welfare
IP TAKE: Sarkeys prefers to fund Oklahoma groups that have been on the local nonprofit scene for at least three years. Areas of interest are broad, and Oklahoma City groups typically fare very well.
PROFILE: Established in 1962, the Sarkeys Foundation is based in Norman, Oklahoma, and founded by Sarkeys J. (S.J.) Sarkeys. He was born in Lebanon and came to America (St. Louis, Missouri) at the age of 17. His work took him through Oklahoma, where he was lured in by the booming oil industry. Grantmaking areas of interest are education, social services, human services, culture, humanitarian programs, scientific research, and animal welfare.
The Sarkeys funding categories are broad and encompass many different types of nonprofit causes. However, the foundation does not normally support hospitals, operating expenses, start-up groups, religious organizations, or anything based outside Oklahoma. This is a funder that occasionally awards challenge grants. Top grantees include the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Angels Foster Family Network, Education and Employment Ministry, and the YMCA in Oklahoma City.
Foundation grants tend to be between $10,000 and $50,000. It occasionally makes a million-dollar grant. In a past grant cycle, the funder gave out 36 grants totaling more than $3.4 million. The most recent annual report can be viewed here, and the funder also shares press releases about newly awarded grants on its website. Grantmaking is restricted to the state of Oklahoma.
The Sarkeys Foundation accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry from nonprofits. LOI deadlines typically fall in June and December. Separate grant applications are required for requests of over $10,000 and for those under $10,000. The trustees meet once per quarter and consider grant proposals at the April and October meetings. Letters of inquiry should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. From there, the application process is all online. The foundation’s phone number is 405-364-3703, and Executive Director Kim Henry can be reached by email at email@example.com.
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