The Pettus Foundation Grants

St. Louis Community Foundation

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Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $25,000

Next anticipated deadline: Jan 1, 2020 (Letter of inquiry)

Later anticipated deadlines: Jul 1, 2020 (Letter of inquiry)

Applicant type: Nonprofit

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

Location of project: Counties in Missouri: St. Louis County, St. Louis city

Location of residency: Counties in Missouri: St. Louis County, St. Louis city

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About this funder:



Pettus Foundation will accept applications on an invitation-only basis twice a year. Inquiries into funding may be made through the St. Louis Community Foundation. If deemed a potential fit for funding, the St. Louis Community Foundation will request a letter of intent which, upon review may lead to a Trustee site visit. The final step in the application process is to submit a customized version of the Missouri Common Grant Application 2.0.

Organizations interested in participating in site visits  must contact the St. Louis Community Foundation for an initial conversation by the 'letter of inquiry' deadlines above. 

Pettus Foundation

The Pettus Foundation is the philanthropic legacy of Mr. James T. Pettus of International Shoe Company and his son, James T. Pettus, Jr. Core to the Pettus Foundation’s giving is Mr. Pettus’s desire “to enable people who might not have opportunities to have opportunities,” thus the Pettus Foundation prioritizes programs which create self-reliance, independence, and citizen productivity.

The St. Louis Community Foundation has the honor and privilege of working with the Trustees of the Pettus Foundation to continue to ensure that the philanthropic wishes of Mr. Pettus live on in the St. Louis Region.

The Foundation’s giving occurs in three ways:

  • Through a competitive grant process in St. Louis, where Mr. Pettus, Jr. was born and went to school
  • To pre-selected organizations in Hawaii, where Mr. Pettus Jr. lived in his later years
  • Each of the seven children of James T. Pettus Jr. (family advisors) has an allocated amount to give to charities of their choice

St. Louis Guidelines & Process

In St. Louis, the Pettus Foundation provides funding to nonprofit organizations working in the following areas:

  • Workforce Development
    • Direct job, technical, and career training
    • Soft skills necessary for success
  • Youth Development
    • Preparation for the work force including soft skills
    • Preparation for life after high school including higher education, technical school, military, or apprenticeship programs
  • Education
    • Early childhood education
    • K – 12 public schools with a focus on the middle school years

Please note the following:

The Pettus Foundation’s typical grant range is from $5,000 to $25,000. The trustees especially favor applications that demonstrate multiple funding partners and match or challenge grant opportunities. The trustees seek to leverage the Foundation’s assets to strengthen Saint Louis non-profits working toward the foundation’s goals.

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


  • Understanding how significant a robust early education platform is for putting children on an excellent educational and social trajectory, the Trustees are interested in programs that impact many preschools through teacher training and innovative curriculum design.
  • The Trustees believe that there are many paths to job and career success.
    • Funding interests include human services organizations and K-12 schools that are providing direct job training, STEM-related projects, technical training, or improving “soft skills” needed to obtain and hold a job.
  • The Trustees require evidence of stable, effective governance, solid financials, and multiple funders for programs and projects the Foundation supports.
  • The Pettus Foundation typically funds direct services and small capital improvement. 


  • Note: public charter schools are not a focus of the Foundation
  • The Foundation does not fund advocacy, research programs, or systems-level initiatives.
  • The Pettus Foundation does not consider grant applications requesting funds for computer technology.