The Thomas W. Briggs Foundation focuses its support on the following:

Arts – Efforts that offer enriching cultural experiences throughout the city and position Memphis as a community of broad, uplifting artistic amenities

Civic – Efforts that build on the uniqueness of Memphis, enhance the quality of life and provide opportunities for all people to interact

Education – Efforts in local primary and secondary schools that improve the quality of teaching and assist students, especially the disadvantaged, in succeeding in the classroom and in the job market; and efforts of local higher education institutions that encourage and ensure excellence

Social Services – Efforts that address local issues and concerns that improve the quality of life for individuals in need and empower them to become contributing members of our community

Youth – Efforts that prepare our young people for academic success and responsible citizenship.

The effort for which funding is requested must be consistent with the applicant organization’s overall mission.

Briggs Funding Goals

In making grants the Thomas W Briggs Foundation:

  • Seeks to leverage its gifts and to participate in community efforts that have wide support and generate measurable differences;
  • May consider funding for seed money, capital support, multi-year gifts, entrepreneurial/innovative efforts and for annual operating activities that will help take an existing effort to scale;
  • Limits its funding to 501c3 nonprofits in Shelby County Tennessee;
  • Awards a total of about $750,000 a year in two funding cycles; this total includes new grants and existing payments on prior year pledges;
  • Does not accept requests from any organization in two successive application cycles unless specifically deferred by Briggs to the next cycle and does not accept applications from organizations with an existing pledge;
  • Does not fund seminars, events or any activities or projects intended for religious worship purposes; does not fund endowments or debt relief,
  • Requests that all communications during the grant process be with one employee of the organization;
  • Seldom funds elementary or secondary schools, though rare exceptions may be considered for extraordinary proposals from schools whose mission is to educate disadvantaged students.  Any school considered must be a 501c3 entity.
  • Does not fund any organization indefinitely;

The Process: Funding Cycles, Notification, Letter of Interest, Full Application, Review, Directors’ Decisions, Grant Letter and Child Protection Policy

  1. Funding Cycles.  Briggs has two funding cycles each year.  They begin on August 1 and February 1 of each year.  Each cycle proceeds as follows.
  2. Notification to Briggs
    • Briggs requests prior notification from all organizations on plans to seek funding.  The staff will work with you to make sure your proposal is clear and a good fit with Briggs priorities.  However, this requires time and must be started before the deadline.
    • New applicants and those that have not received Briggs funding in the past ten years must arrange for a site visit or telephone conference with the Foundation’s executive director at least one month before the beginning of the funding cycles on August 1 and February 1;
  3. Application.  The Application Packet must be submitted electronically to by the deadline.  The documents requested in the Application Packet are:
    • Letter of Intent: Please download the Briggs Letter of Intent 4-28-16 and use this exact form for your submission (no more than 3 pages);
    • 7 Supplementary documents  Please observe the “one page” request for some of these documents.  The 7 Supplementary Documents are:
      • Your organization’s annual budget – on one page in 10-12 pt. font size.
      • Your one page budget for this particular request with Revenue and Expenses.
      • Your organization’s board of Directors – one page with name, board position and any professional affiliation.
      • Your organization’s staff responsible for this effort and their qualifications – one page.
      • Your organization’s most recent audit.
      • Your most recent interim financial statements – Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss – on one page each in 10-12 pt. font size.
      • Your organization’s 501c3 letter from the IRS (not your sales tax exemption from the Tennessee Department of Revenue).
  4. Review.  Applications are reviewed and analyzed by the Briggs Foundation staff and the Review Committee before presentation to the Directors for a final decision;
  5. Director’s Meeting and Decision.  Awards are announced after the foundation’s Directors meet in mid-November to decide on the August 1 submissions and in mid-April to decide on the February 1 submissions.
  6. Grant Letter and Child Protection Policy.  A letter will be sent to each successful grantee stating the amount and conditions of the grant. Your organization’s Executive Director must sign and return the letter acknowledging your organization’s understanding of the grant and its conditions and you must send a copy of your Child Protection Policy if your organization works with anyone under the age of 18.  This document should describe the policies and practices you have in place to train your staff to prevent and recognize child sexual abuse.   An example is the Stewards of Children training offered by the Memphis Child Advocacy Center

To obtain more information or arrange a site visit, contact:

Margaret Craddock, Executive Director
Thomas W Briggs Foundation
119 S. Main Street
Suite 500
Memphis, TN.  38103