Do you have an idea that aligns with our mission to bring about transformational change in Louisville and throughout Kentucky? We’d love to hear more about it.

Read through our areas of impact and the components of our grantmaking, then begin a dialogue with us and learn more about the Foundation’s process of empowering citizens to improve the quality of life and well-being of all Kentuckians.


Our grantmaking isn’t just a transaction; it’s a partnership.

We’re looking to team up with innovative and inspired thought leaders with achievable ideas and enable them to put these ideas into action. The partnerships we cultivate bring about change for Louisville and Kentucky, because we use four qualities to drive our grants: collaboration, innovation, sustainable solutions and a resilient nonprofit sector.


We know that the best plans only get better by working with a wide range of people and accessing an expanse of ideas.


By thinking outside the box, we eliminate the box altogether. We believe that creativity generates limitless potential.

sustainable solutions

We look to bolster the ideas that last, and create enduring change.

resilient nonprofit sector

When we partner with passionate nonprofits, we all improve and everybody within the sector is elevated, which advances our community and the state at large.


  • Points outside the state of Kentucky or the Louisville metropolitan area

  • Performing arts

  • Requests from religious organizations for religious purposes (including theological seminaries)

  • Individuals

  • Political entities

  • Fundraising events

  • Sponsorships

  • Individual public schools


The James Graham Brown Foundation collaborates with many different organizations to achieve its objectives in the Areas of Impact. Applications for funding are by invitation only. If you have an idea or a project that you would like the Foundation to consider, the first step is to submit a short concept summary through our online portal.


  • STEP 1: Concept Summary
  • STEP 2: Invitation to Submit Formal Application
  • STEP 3: Review Process

The Foundation accepts concept papers on a rolling basis throughout the year via the online portal. We encourage you to thoroughly review the Foundation’s funding guidelines, its Areas of Impact (Education & Workforce Readiness, Community & Economic Prosperity and Quality of Life) and the information about recent grantees before submitting a concept paper.

A concept paper should include a brief description of the organization’s mission and work, a summary of the purpose of the request, the general methodology, activities to be supported, estimated total cost of the project, and expected outcomes.

Staff will review all submitted concepts and respond by email or a phone call upon initial review. If the project is aligned with the James Graham Brown Foundation’s interests, the organization may be invited to complete a formal application. Foundation staff typically work with grant seekers over several weeks or months after the concept paper review to develop a formal application, according to the deadlines listed below.

If you have further questions or need technical assistance, please contact or call (502) 896-2440.



The deadlines below indicate the final dates for submission of a completed formal application. Unless otherwise instructed, submit a concept summary, thorough the link above. The foundation will communicate next steps in the process.

Please note that we must allow ample time, even up to several weeks or months, for communication between grant-seeking organizations and the James Graham Brown Foundation staff to prepare a proposal for consideration. Grant-seeking organizations should be mindful of the deadlines for proposals in final form. Concept summaries should be submitted well in advance of the formal application deadlines listed below.

Education & Workforce Readiness
Cradle to Career
Higher Education
December 3, 2018 February 12, 2019
Quality of Life
Community/Culture and Civic
Economic Prosperity
March 1, 2019 May 21, 2019
Quality of Life
Human Services
June 7, 2019 August 20, 2019