William K. Warren Foundation: Oklahoma Grants

OVERVIEW: The William K. Warren Foundation primarily supports medical research, hospitals, and health causes in the greater Tulsa metropolitan area. This funder only awards a small number of grants each year, but these grants tend to be large and significant. At the end of 2013, the Warren Foundation reported over $386 million in assets and over $19 in total giving that year.

FUNDING AREAS: Medical research, health care services, health education, Catholic causes, community

IP TAKE: There’s no public phone number, email, address, or street address—just a post office box in Tulsa. Despite this fact, the Warren Foundation does accept unsolicited grant proposals by mail. The foundation only funds a small number of the proposals it receives, but when it does award money, it’s usually a pretty significant amount.

PROFILE: William K. Warren, who founded the Warren Petroleum Co. (a division of Chevron U.S.A.) established a foundation in his name in 1945. His company specialized in producing and marketing liquefied petroleum gas, which is a byproduct of the refining and purification processes. Warren passed away in 1990.

Through foundation funding, Warren established Saint Francis Hospital in 1959 and Laureate Psychiatric Clinic and Hospital in 1989. Today, most Warren Foundation grants go toward medical research and the Saint Francis Health System in Tulsa. Staying true to the original passions of William Warren and his wife, Natalie, the foundation also supports charitable, scientific, Catholic, and health programs in and around the Tulsa area.

Across all fields of interest, grantmaking is primarily limited to the Tulsa region and the state of Oklahoma. At the end of a recent yera, the foundation reported over $422 million in assets and over $15 million in total giving. The foundation gave $11.9 million to Tulsa’s Warren K. Medical Research Center for general operating support that year. Other past grants included over $4.8 million to Tulsa’s Laureate Institute for Brain Research, over $1 million to Tulsa’s Children’s Hospital Foundation at Saint Francis, and $50,000 to St. Francis Health Systems. A few years ago, the foundation made headlines with a $3.5 million gift to the University of Notre Dame that helped create the College of Science’s Warren Family Research Center for Drug Discovery and Development.

The Warren Foundation typically receives around 300 grant requests each year and only has the capacity to fund a small number of these. As a general rule, the foundation does not directly support individuals, business development, athletic programs, or international organizations. Warren also doesn’t consider requests for medical care, education, or direct support for individuals. Religious grants aren’t very common from this funder, but some support does have Catholic overtones.

Multi-year funding requests are rarely considered, as this is a one-year period funder. And Warren doesn’t seem to give much favoritism to previous grantees for future funding, either. Warren considers requests from both new, emerging groups as well as well-established organizations, and prefers to give more deeply than broadly.

There are no application deadlines at the Warren Foundation and no special forms to fill out. This is a foundation that takes an old-school approach to philanthropy and doesn’t accept any applications via email or the Internet. Grant proposals must be sent by snail mail to the Tulsa office with a one-to-two-page cover letter, a narrative of three pages or less, and relevant attachments. If your proposal makes it past the preliminary review stage, a Grants Committee will review it and request additional information. In past years, the board has met twice per year.

As we said, this isn’t an easy foundation to get in touch with. There’s no known phone number, email, address, or street address, just PO Box 470372 in Tulsa.


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What Grantseekers Should Know about the William K. Warren Foundation