The Chapman Foundations

OVERVIEW: The Chapman Foundations supports a wide range of issues in Oklahoma and Colorado, including education and medical research.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, medical research, health, human services, civic, community programs, arts and culture, nature and wildlife

IP TAKE:  This is a great funder to know for groups in the Tulsa area. The trustees that handle both foundations will decide which foundation is most suited to a nonprofit’s needs.

PROFILE: Established in 1976, the Chapman Foundations are made up of the H.A. and Mary K. Chapman Charitable Trust and the Mary K. Chapman Foundation. Each entity makes grants to public charities. Founder H. Allen Chapman was born in Colorado and lived most of his life in Tulsa. He was an independent oil and gas producer. His wife, Mary, operated a giving program after the death of her husband in 1979. She established her charitable trust before her death in 2002. This second foundation was fully funded in 2005. Grantmaking areas of interest are education, medical research, health, human services, civic, community programs, arts and culture, and nature and wildlife.

Each of the two Chapman Foundations has its own giving priorities. The H.A. and Mary K. Chapman Charitable Trust focuses on education and medical research. The Mary K. Chapman Foundation focuses more on health, medical research, and caring for the less fortunate—Mary was a nurse. But overall, both foundations give broadly. Other topics of interest overall are the arts, culture, nature, and wildlife. Priority has often been given to colleges and universities in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas, as well as elementary and secondary education in Oklahoma. Other Oklahoma priorities are healthcare, human services, civic and community, and arts and culture.

Each of the Chapman Foundations typically give between $4 million and $8 million per year. Download the most recent 990 forms for both foundations here to learn more about local giving. The vast majority of grants from this funder goes to groups in Oklahoma and Colorado. Within those states, the cities of Tulsa and Colorado Springs see the most grants. After Tulsa and the surrounding counties, the funder is most concerned with Eastern Oklahoma. For administration, both foundations are handled by the same staff and trustees, and all the forms, guidelines, and procedures are the same too.

The Chapman Foundations accept unsolicited letters of inquiry. The application process begins with a letter of inquiry, which is to be submitted electronically to Invited applicants should send in the required proposal forms to the foundation. The trustees review grant requests in March, June, September, and December. Chapman Foundations Management, LLC’s primary office is based in Tulsa, and there is also a branch office in Colorado Springs. Direct general questions to the staff at 918-496-7882 or to Program Officer Andie Doyle at


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