General & Capital Grants

The Assisi Foundation of Memphis, Inc.

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Grant amount: Up to US $750,000

Next deadline: May 11, 2020 3:00pm PDT

Later deadlines: Aug 17, 2020 3:00pm PDT, Nov 16, 2020 3:00pm PST, Feb 8, 2021 3:00pm PST

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, General Operating Expense, Project / Program, Capital Project

Location of project: Crittenden County, Arkansas, DeSoto County, Mississippi, Counties in Tennessee: Fayette County, Shelby County, Tipton County

Location of residency: Crittenden County, Arkansas, DeSoto County, Mississippi, Counties in Tennessee: Fayette County, Shelby County, Tipton County

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About this funder:



  • Arts/Cultural Groups and Arts Related Applicants:
    • Applications are considered for the first quarter only
    • The deadline for applications is mid-November of each preceding year and notifications are made in January  ( Nov. 16,2020)
  • 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 (February 8, 2021)
    • Notifications will made no later than the first Friday in May.

Our guiding principles begin and end with respect, compassion, service, and stewardship for our community and one another. We strive to effectively and to the best of our abilities, allocate resources to support the diverse needs of our community in a way that improves the quality of life for all.

Since our formation in 1994 from the sale of St. Francis Hospital, The Assisi Foundation of Memphis, Inc. (The Foundation) has awarded more than $204 million to nonprofit organizations serving people located primarily in the Greater Memphis area. 

Areas of Focus

The Assisi Foundation of Memphis serves nonprofit organizations that work to improve Memphis and the Mid-South. Our 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 our 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. We fund 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 our area’s cultural icons and groups that work to promote the cultural and artistic heritage of Greater Memphis.
    • 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. 

Whether or not an organization falls neatly within these categories, we always invite the exploration of good ideas that align with our mission of philanthropy, done well.

Schools, Academic Institutions, or for Education-Related Activities, Programs, Projects, and Support: Special Notice

Any applications from schools, academic institutions or for education related programs, activities, or support will be considered only at the April Board meeting of each year. The deadline for applications will be in mid February of each year.

Cultural Enrichment & The Arts: Special Notice

The Assisi Foundation of Memphis, Inc. will review grant request 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:

  • capital campaigns/endowments,
  • renovations and repairs, and
  • 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) will be referred to ArtsMemphis. Any organization submitting an application must meet the eligibility criteria.

General Grants

Typical general grants include: 

  • Program support
  • Capacity building
  • Technical assistance
  • Operating support
  • Endowment requests not included as part of a capital campaign

Capital Grants

We also fund capital projects designed to improve the physical assets of an organization. 

Typical capital projects include:

  • Building: new construction, addition to existing facility, or renovation
  • Technology installation or upgrade, computer hardware/software, audio-visual equipment
  • Fixtures, furnishings, and equipment

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • We consider funding for organizations and programs specifically located in Shelby, Fayette, and Tipton Counties in Tennessee; Crittenden County, Arkansas; and Desoto County, Mississippi. 
  • The organization must have tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code.
  • Organizations must certify they do not discriminate based on ethnicity, gender, creed, national origin, religion, or disability status.
    • Faith Based Organizations: This note is an effort to help clarify the intent of the nondiscrimination clause. We acknowledge and appreciate 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. We appreciate the values of principles and not changing them for either expediency or gain. To clarify further, even if you have volunteers, employees, and serve clients from ALL faith traditions, if you have never had non-Christians on your Board and have no plans to select non-Christians to serve on the Board, our request is that you please not evade this issue by claiming to have no document to explicitly prohibit their membership as part of the governing body. We have sometimes accepted applications in good faith with the expectation that faith based organizations behave ethically and tell the whole truth, only to be told by a peer organization that we have been misled. We ask that you "walk your talk" and not hide your light.
  • 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.
  • Requests from large organizations with more than one site must come through the office of the Chief Executive Officer or equivalent administrative role.
  • General Grant Requests:
    • 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:
    • 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?;
      • Have raised in cash or pledges at least 50% of the capital campaign total;
      • Have leveraged other support.


  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.


  • Grants are not made to or for:
    • Individuals
    • National fundraising drives
    • Auctions
    • Dinners
    • Outreach ministries or projects of only one congregation
    • Tickets for benefits
    • Political organizations or candidates for public office
    • Lobbying activities
    • Recurring budget deficits
    • Festivals
    • 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
    • Conferences
    • Scholarships
    • Sponsorships
  • Perpetual ongoing support for programs will not be provided.