The Thomas W. Briggs Foundation focuses its support on organizations whose mission aligns with one of the following Briggs focus areas:
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;
- Reviews about 12 proposals a cycle. In deciding which proposals can be reviewed, preference is given to organizations whose missions are the best fit with one of the five Briggs Focus Areas and to organizations that have worked with Briggs in the past although new organizations can be considered; organizations requesting funding must have a profile on Where To Give at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis.
- 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, hospitals, 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, Full Application, Review, Directors’ Decisions, Grant Letter and Child Protection Policy
- Funding Cycles. Briggs has two funding cycles each year. Proposals for funding and supplementary documents should be submitted electronically by August 1 or February 1 of each year. Each cycle proceeds as follows.
- Notification to Briggs
- Although full applications are due on February 1 and August 1, potential grantees’ discussions with the foundation about their application should begin well before that date. The foundation requests notification of intent to apply and the nature of the request. Discussion before the due date can address potential issues and can help develop the clearest proposal. This requires time and must be started before the deadline. All communications must be with an employee of the organization .
- 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 well before the beginning of the funding cycles on August 1 and February 1;
- Application. The Application Packet must be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org by the deadline date. The documents requested in the Application Packet are:
- Proposal: Please contact the foundation at email@example.com to receive a proposal form. Please use this exact form for your electronic submission (no more than 3 pages which includes the signature).
- 7 Supplementary documents Please observe the “one page” request for some of these documents. Please do not submit anything in color as colors do not copy well. The 7 Supplementary Documents are:
- Your organization’s annual budget – on one page in 10-12 pt. font size. Please submit with the main categories only on 1 page – not every single line item.
- Your one page budget for this particular request with Revenue and Expenses. If you are requesting funding for an effort with multiple aspects or activities, please submit the one-page request budget that depicts each activity as well as the whole.
- Your organization’s Board of Directors – one-page with name, board position, any professional affiliation and the expertise they bring to your board.
- 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).
- Follow-up and Review. Applications are reviewed and analyzed by the Briggs Foundation staff. The proposal usually cannot address everything so the Briggs staff will follow up with each organization for additional information that is specific to the organization and the proposal. This takes place after all documents have been submitted. The Briggs Review Committee discusses each proposal before presentation to the Briggs Directors for a final decision;
- Directors 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.
- *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 https://www.memphiscac.org/Info-Answers.aspx. Please review this so that you understand the policy Briggs requests.
To obtain more information or arrange a site visit, contact:
Margaret Craddock, Executive Director
Thomas W Briggs Foundation
119 S. Main Street
Memphis, TN. 38103