Whiteman Foundation and Whiteman 4G Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Whiteman Foundation supports child welfare, education, and health. The founder created a second foundation, the Whiteman 4G Foundation, which focuses on basic needs for children. Maricopa County, Arizona, is the focus for both foundations.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, child welfare, health, basic needs for children

IP TAKE: There are actually two foundations in this family, but they are very similar in their geographic focus and interest areas. Learn about both to submit an idea to the most appropriate one.

PROFILE: Established in 1961, the Whiteman Foundation is based in Mesa, Arizona. This is the foundation of Jack Whiteman, who founded Empire Southwest, the region’s Caterpillar dealership. It was originally called the Edna Rider Whiteman Foundation and adopted its current name 35 years later. Foundation interests include health, education, and children's welfare.

Lately, the top priority for the Whiteman Foundation has been early childhood development for the birth-to-age-five demographic. Therefore, health and education grants most often go to groups that serve those young residents. This is a shift from the 1970s through the 1990s, when the foundation primarily funded higher education and the arts. Over the years, the Whiteman Foundation has invested millions of dollars within Maricopa County. Support has gone to the Arizona Museum for Youth, the Phoenix Art Museum, and the East Valley Child Crisis Center. The main source of funding for this foundation is Empire Southwest, which commits over two percent of pretax profits to charity, one percent to the Whiteman Foundation, and one percent to the sister foundation.

John Whiteman created a new and separate foundation in 2006 for his 11 grandchildren, calling it the Whiteman 4G Foundation since they were the fourth generation of Whitemans to be involved in the family philanthropy. It funds human services, including children’s issues, abandonment, harassment and bullying, and responsible parenting. Health, including children’s cancers and diabetes, and education, including scholarships and infant brain development research, are also focuses. More recently, the board refined 4G's interests to focus on children’s basic needs related to health, food, clothing, and education. The two children-focused foundations differ slightly in their target age interests: the Whiteman Foundation supports projects for youths up to 18 years old, while the 4G focuses on work serving youths up to age 12.

Whiteman Foundation grants tend to be between $5,000 and $20,000, and grantseekers can view a list of past grantees here. Meanwhile, the Whiteman 4G Foundation’s grants tend to be fewer but occasionally larger. View past Whiteman 4G grantmaking here. Both foundations’ giving are focused on Arizona and Maricopa County.

Both foundations accept new grant applications by invitation only, and both are administered by the Arizona Community Foundation. For prospective grantees, applications are typically accepted between September and October, with awards going to Maricopa County groups in December. Groups interested in a grant should use the contact page to introduce a project idea. The phone number to reach the staff with general questions is 480-633-4413.


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