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1. Who is the Lumpkin family?

The Lumpkin family is made up of descendants and spouses of the original donor, Besse A. Lumpkin. Although the family’s start can be traced to Mattoon, Illinois members now live in many communities across the US and England. There are more than 20 family members over the age of 16 involved in the Foundation. To learn more about the history of The Lumpkin Family Foundation, click here.

2. How large is the Foundation?

The Foundation had assets of approximately $40 million at the end of 2009. On average, in recent years, we have used approximately $2 million for grants or foundation-initiated programs , depending on the performance of the endowment investments. For more specific information, we encourage you to review our tax returns at www.guidestar.org.

3. Who serves on the Foundation Board?

The board includes six Lumpkin family members and one member from the central Illinois community. View board member list.

4. What are the main areas of funding focus for The Lumpkin Family Foundation?

As our mission states, we support innovation and long-lasting improvements in the environment, health, education, and community access to the arts. Find out more.

5. What geographic areas do you support?

We fund mainly in East Central Illinois, radiating out from Coles County (View our map) as well as in communities where Lumpkin Family members live. (See our grant award locations!) The Foundation also sometimes supports state policy efforts that address program area priorities.

6. How do I know if my organization is eligible?

Proposals will be considered from eligible 501(c)(3) organizations that reflect The Lumpkin Family Foundation's mission, serve the community without discrimination on the basis of race, sex, or religion, keep books available for regular independent outside audit, and make results available to all potential contributors, and comply with applicable laws regarding registration and reporting. We also will accept proposals from a fiscal agent to support aims that are charitable. Take The Quiz!

7. How do I apply?

The entire application process is online. Your first step is the submission of a Letter of Inquiry. Your Letter of Inquiry will be reviewed to determine whether the proposed effort fits sufficiently within Our Mission and Program Goals to merit further review. If so, we will invite you to submit a full application. Find out more.

8. When are your deadlines to apply?

9. What should I ask for?

This question often comes in two parts. You may have more than one project in need of support and want to know which project would make the most appealing application. Generally, we counsel applicants to request help for the project which best addresses the organization’s highest priorities. We like seeing real passion in the request rather than something which suggests you are “chasing the money.” That is, applying for something that is far down your list of priorities because you think we would support it. The second part of the question is usually how much will we give? This depends on many factors, from the number and quality of applications, to our budget, to our history with the organization. It’s likely that you will not receive the answer you were hoping for if your initial request is outside of our normal grant range and if we do not have an established relationship. Find out more.

10. What is the grant decision-making process?

A committee made up of family members and members of the community will review your letter of inquiry (LOI) in relation to The Foundation’s mission and the individual program objectives. If the Committee would like to learn more about your project, it will ask for a full application. Once we receive the full application, we might call to schedule a site visit. The Committee reviews and evaluates applications in relation to mission and program objectives. The committee considers the relative impact of each project against its budget and organizational factors that suggest a project will succeed.

11. What should I expect during a site visit?

We schedule site visits with many organizations from whom we have invited an application. A site visit should take about an hour. A member of staff, or sometimes a Committee Member, will stop by. There is no formal agenda and no need to prepare a special presentation. Please remember, we are not experts in your field. We just want to get to know you and have a conversation about your work and the application. We may have questions or need clarification about the application. It would be great to have the lead staff contact and/or board member available to meet with us.

12. What are some of the grants you have awarded?

View our past grants as well as studies and reports we have commissioned.

13. What is the average size of a grant?

Our grants vary in size depending on an organization’s size, the project and the need. Typically, our grants range from $5,000 to $25,000. View our past grants.

14. Do you make multi-year grants?

While not typical, The Foundation has made a few multi-year gifts. If you have a specific project that might require multi-year funding, please contact us to discuss your request.

15. Can I apply in consecutive years?

Yes. Because of the volume of requests we receive, we are not able to consider a letter of inquiry until a 12-month period has passed since the last grant was awarded. Note that all final grant reports from previous grants must be submitted in order to be considered.

16. How long does the application process take?

We do our best to balance your need for a quick turn-around against giving you enough time to complete the application and ourselves enough time for thorough review. As you will see in our timetable, we try to keep the time between our letter of inquiry deadline and our Application decision less than ten weeks.

17. May I reapply if my letter of inquiry (LOI) is declined?

Absolutely. It may be that your LOI simply ran up against stiff competition in the cycle and our budget was small. If that is the case, we will likely communicate that in the declination. If our interest in receiving an LOI is not clear from the declination, you might want to contact staff before submitting another LOI for the same project. We don’t like to waste your time.

18. If my organization has received a grant from The Lumpkin Family Foundation in the past, do I still need to submit a letter of inquiry?


19. If my organization is awarded a grant, what are the reporting requirements?

We require a final grant report. Depending on the length of the grant, we may also request a status report. The grant reports are available on our online grant system.

20. How do you support the Arts?

Mostly our support for the Arts is expressed through responsive grant-making. In our Regional program, which makes grants in communities where family members live, we are particularly interested in programs that target disadvantaged young people between grades eight and ten because we understand this to be a critical period in formulating a positive life view and establishing good decision-making patterns. 

We also accept applications through The Lumpkin Family Fund process from arts organizations as their work relates to our Land, Health, Community theme.  Click here for more information about what we fund in Arts & Learning. 

The Arts is also an area where we have sought deeper community involvement. For example, we brought the founder of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program to Mattoon to encourage the creation of murals here in Mattoon. And we were deeply involved with local partners in the process that led to the renovation of the Mattoon Depot into an arts center. 

21. How do you support Healthy People?

The Foundation has long supported hospitals and other institutions providing health care services to people in East Central Illinois.  In recent years, we have focused increasingly on preventative health, and, in particular, healthy food. Through our 2014 strategic planning process, we developed a new overarching theme we call Land, Health, Community.  As part of Land, Health, Community, The Foundation will make grants in the region to organizations working to encourage the production and consumption of healthy food. 

The Foundation will also solicit a small number of applications in Coles County from organizations and networks interested in encouraging physical activity, land protection and conservation, and helping organizations and businesses become leaders in the green economy.  We would love to extend this opportunity to all of East Central, but our financial resources are inadequate to spread across the many communities of the region.

22. How do you promote Environmental Health and Sustainability?

Environmental health and sustainability in downstate Illinois has been a central part of our mission since the early 1990s when members of the Lumpkin family first started to plan their philanthropy together.

Historically, most of our grants have supported clean water in areas south of Interstate 80. In recent years, our grants have increasingly gone to encouraging innovative and green farm practices as well as the localization of the food system.  As a founder of the Fresh Taste Initiative and an active participant in the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders Group, our involvement has been deeper in this area than other grant-making.

Beginning in 2015, we will receive applications through the Lumpkin Family Fund process from organizations in East Central Illinois wishing to take part in the local, healthy food movement, from the perspective of health (healthy eating), economic development (business development), and environmental quality (sustainable practices).  Click here to learn more about our work in environmental health and sustainability.  

23. When should I call a staff member?

We love to hear from people interested in the work of The Lumpkin Family Foundation. If you are new to applying to us for a grant or would like to discuss a specific idea or possible partnership with The Foundation, please contact the following: General Inquiries: Laura Huddleston laura@lumpkinfoundation.org Phone: 217-235-3361 Grants: Bruce Karmazin Bruce@lumpkinfoundation.org Phone: 217-234-5915 

24. Who is your organization's Media Relations contact?

Our community relations representative is our Executive Director, Bruce Karmazin. Please contact Bruce at Bruce@lumpkinfoundation.org or call 217-234-5915

25. How does The Foundation feel about recognition?

The opportunity for recognition plays no part in our decision to award a grant. However, we are aware of the role donor recognition plays in an effective development program, and we willingly receive it. Click here for our logo files and considerations for use. Please send The Foundation copies of any publication or promotion we are mentioned in, so we can be aware and share with members of the Lumpkin family. Please do not give gifts to The Foundation. It is reward enough for us to be able to provide support to worthy organizations and we want your to be able to spend your funding on programs.

26. Does the Foundation make grants to individuals?

No. We only support 501(c)3 organizations.

27. Does the Foundation sponsor fundraising events?

We do not buy tickets, purchase tables or otherwise sponsor fundraising events and we generally do not respond to such requests.

© 2017 The Lumpkin Family Foundation. All rights reserved.
121 S. 17th Street  |  Mattoon, IL 61938  |  P: (217) 235-3361  |  F: (217) 258-8444
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