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 so that you submit your idea to the most appropriate one.

PROFILE: 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 established in 1961 as the Edna Rider Whiteman Foundation and adopted its current name 35 years later.

Foundation interests include health, education, and children's welfare. These days, the top priority is early childhood development for the birth-to-age-five demographic, so 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 over $5 million, mostly 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. Applications are accepted for both by invitation only, and both foundations are administered by the Arizona Community Foundation. Applications for both foundations are accepted between September and October, with awards going to Maricopa County groups in December. There is an electronic application for the Whiteman Foundation on the ACF website. Groups interested in a Whiteman 4G Foundation grant should use the contact page to introduce a project idea.

Recent Whiteman grants and recent Whiteman 4G grants are posted on the funder’s website.

The boards of these foundations consist of Whiteman Family members John O. Whiteman, Jeff Whiteman, Christy Whiteman Wilson, and Eric Whiteman. Mollie C. Trivers has been the executive director of the foundation since 1995. There do not appear to be other full-time staff members here.

General questions can be directed to Trivers at 480-633-4413. The funder’s address is 1725 South Country Club Drive, Mesa, Arizona 85210. Keep up with foundation news here.

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