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General and Capital Grants

Grants to Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi Nonprofits for
Health, Human Services, Arts, Education, and Social Justice

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Assisi Foundation of Memphis

Deadline Date:

02/11/19 5:00 PM - Deadline for Health and Human Services and Social Justice applications only; Education grants are due in Feburary; Arts grants are due in November


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Grants to Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi nonprofit organizations and academic institutions to benefit communities in Memphis and the Mid-South region. Program areas include health and human services, education and lifelong learning, ethics and social justice, the arts, and cultural enrichment.

The Foundation funds organizations and programs specifically located in Shelby, Fayette, and Tipton Counties in Tennessee; Crittenden County, Arkansas; and Desoto County, Mississippi.

Areas of Focus:

The Foundation addresses pressing challenges while also searching for root causes with the goal of creating community-wide transformation.

The Assisi Foundation of Memphis serves nonprofit organizations that work to improve Memphis and the Mid-South. The primary areas of focus are:

Health and Human Services:

Helping the Mid-South thrive spiritually, mentally, and physically, The Foundation funds initiatives that work to improve the health and well-being of the community, as well as the responses and delivery of the healthcare system.

Education and Lifelong Learning:

As a champion of lifelong learning, The Foundation works to strengthen the community’s educational well-being through programs that develop tools for life and focus on the awareness and importance of accepting social responsibilities. The Foundation funds nonprofits that build the organizational capacity of provider agencies, provide professional development, promote collaboration, and leverage local, state, and federal resources.

Social Justice and Ethics:

The Foundation believes in organizations that help individuals strive to reach their greatest human potential. The Foundation funds projects and programs that strengthen ethical values among Mid-South citizens and promote social justice; initiatives that lead to a better understanding of, and a more effective response to, the economic and social challenges of the community.

Cultural Enrichment and the Arts:

Seeking to foster an even greater appreciation of Memphis arts and culture, The Foundation supports some of the area’s cultural icons and groups that work to promote the cultural and artistic heritage of Greater Memphis.

Special Notice:

The Assisi Foundation of Memphis, Inc. will review grant requests from arts and cultural organizations at the annual January board meeting. Deadline for applications for that meeting will be in November of the prior year.

Requests may be considered for (1) capital campaigns/endowments, (2) renovations and repairs, and (3) underwriting special programming/artists (after all other options have been explored). Any other types of requests (such as requests for audience development, marketing, or arts education and outreach) will be referred to ArtsMemphis. Any organization submitting an application must meet the eligibility criteria. This will not affect any current grant relationships the Foundation has with arts organizations.

Whether or not an organization falls neatly within these categories, the Foundation always invites the exploration of good ideas that align with the Foundation’s mission of philanthropy, done well.

General Grant Requests:

Preference is given to requests that:
-Address a critical community need or opportunity
-Address root causes of a problem
-Include clearly stated goals, timelines, objectives, and measurable outcomes
-Include an effective mechanism for measuring the impact
-Exhibit sound and realistic financial plans as well as a diversification of funding sources
-Will not duplicate existing services unless there is a clear need for additional services
-Can be replicated by other organizations
-Involve collaboration or cooperation with other organizations
-Promote activities that build and sustain connections among diverse groups

The requesting organization should:
-Demonstrate the expertise and experience necessary to accomplish the project
-Operate under sound financial principles
-Have a plan for ongoing financial and community support for sustainability

Capital Grant Requests:

Preference is given to requests that:
-Demonstrate that the project is necessary to fulfill the mission of the organization and conduct its programs, and is part of a long-range plan for the organization;
-Serve a broad segment of the greater Memphis area;
-Enhance or improve the organization’s ability to meet the needs of those it serves;
-Provide a detailed, itemized capital project budget;
-Demonstrate a diversification of funding sources, including agency and
-board contributions, public appeals, grants, and loans;
-Provide a project time-line/schedule that includes start date of capital campaign, expected duration of the campaign, plans for additional funding if needed, and date that the actual construction/renovation will begin;
-Explain the impact that the project will have on the agency’s ongoing operating budget.

The requesting organization should:
-Include a method to evaluate the success of the campaign. For example, will the success of the campaign be based upon reaching the goal, finishing the project on schedule, or increasing services provided as a result of the campaign?

Typically, payment of Capital Project Grants is made when the organization begins the construction/renovation. Specific terms and schedule of payments will be based upon the scope of the project, amount of award, duration of the project, and completion of required reporting at appropriate intervals.

Requests for Endowments:

If you are applying for funds for an endowment that is not part of a capital campaign request, please be sure to include the required information in the application narrative.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 180366

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The organization must have tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code.

Arts and cultural groups may apply for the November cycle only.

Schools, academic institutions, and organizations requesting support for education-related activities may apply for the 2nd quarter only.

Faith Based Organizations: This note is an effort to help clarify the intent of the nondiscrimination clause. The Foundation acknowledges and appreciates your statements of values and faith that guide the practices of yours and many other faith based organizations. If however, your organization precludes or prohibits individuals of a different faith from participation, or receiving services from your organization, and/or from serving on the governing Board of your organization, the Foundation asks that you seek funding from other sources.

Grants are not made to or for:
-National fundraising drives
-Outreach ministries or projects of only one congregation
-Tickets for benefits
-Political organizations or candidates for public office
-Lobbying activities
-Recurring budget deficits
-Health fairs
-Tournament fees and /or travel for athletic competitions
-Evangelization (religion)

Ordinarily, grants are also not made for:    
-Program expenses that occur on a regular basis (i.e. annual workshop series, membership dues, regularly needed medical equipment or patient care)
-Regularly supported activities of fundraising organizations
-Replacement of government funding cuts

Please note: Perpetual ongoing support for programs will not be provided. 

Nondiscrimination clause: Organizations must certify they do not discriminate based on ethnicity, gender, creed, national origin, religion, or disability status.

Pre-Application Information:

For Capital Grant requests, the applicant should have raised in cash or pledges at least 50% of the capital campaign total. Capital Grant applicants should have leveraged other support. Some or all of a Capital Project Grant may be made on a matching/challenge basis. The terms of the match will be determined on a case-by-case basis, in partnership with the grantee.

Schools, Academic Institutions, or for Education-Related Activities, Programs, Projects; Support: Applications are considered for the second quarter only. The deadline for applications will be mid-February of each year for consideration at the April Board meeting. Notifications will made no later than the first Friday in May.

Requests from academic institutions with more than one site or with multiple departments (e.g. colleges and universities) must come through the office of the President or equivalent office. Requests from public or other school systems must come from the Superintendent's office.

Organizations providing services to children and/or youth are encouraged to have a current, written, Board approved Child Protection Policy to which all employees and volunteers are held accountable.

Large organizations with multiple departments/branches: Requests from large organizations with more than one site must come through the office of the Chief Executive Officer or equivalent administrative role.

Proposals must be submitted via the online portal by 5:00 PM on the application deadline. Each proposal is time stamped upon submission.

Upcoming deadlines:
-2nd Quarter, February 16, 2018 - Education proposals may be submitted this quarter only
-3rd Quarter, May 14, 2018
-4th Quarter, August 13, 2018
-1st Quarter, November 13, 2018 - Arts/Cultural proposals may be submitted this quarter only
-2nd Quarter, February 11, 2019 - Education proposals may be submitted this quarter only

On occasion, the Foundation may issue Requests for Proposals for special initiatives. These will be published with specific guidelines and deadlines which may differ.

If you are a first-time applicant, you are encouraged to register for the Before You Ask program:

Areas of Focus:

Grant Eligibility and Upcoming Deadlines:


Application Instructions:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Arkansas: Crittenden County;   Mississippi: Desoto County;   Tennessee: Shelby, Fayette, and Tipton Counties