The Thomas W. Briggs Foundation supports organizations with mission alignment with our 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 that support local primary and secondary schools that improve the quality of teaching and assist students, especially the under resourced, in classroom and job market success; 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.

Equity  and Pandemic Statement

The Briggs Foundation supports organizations that have a broad transformative effect on Memphis, help all individuals feel welcomed, impact socioeconomic advancement and elevate educational achievement.  If an organization serves those directly affected by the pandemic, those needs should be addressed in the application.

Briggs Funding Information

Briggs Does…

  • Seek to leverage its gifts while participating in community efforts which have wide support and generate measurable differences
  • Show a preference for areas in Memphis that are underserved or have higher rates of economic instability
  • Fund seed money, capital support, multi-year gifts, entrepreneurial/innovative efforts, and annual operating activities helping an existing effort to scale
  • Award of about $750,000 a year in two funding cycles including prior and new commitments
  • Fund biennially, after an application, an organization must wait 2 years before inquiring
  • Fund primarily in the city of Memphis and not beyond Shelby County, Tennessee
  • Review about 12 proposals per cycle- preference given to organizations whose missions best fit with a Briggs Focus Areas and/or organizations that have successfully worked with Briggs in the past
  • Welcome new organizations

 Briggs Does Not…

  • Accept applications in two successive application cycles
  • Accept applications from organizations with an existing pledge
  • Fund public or private schools, hospitals, churches and synagogues, seminars, endowments, legal services, debt reduction, events or activities intended for primarily religious purposes
  • Fund any organization indefinitely
  • Generally fund intermediaries unless demonstrated expertise in an area or diversified funding to smaller newer organizations

Organizations must…

  • Have a profile on at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis.
  • Have communication during grant process through the Executive Director of the organization
  • Possess 501c3 nonprofit status

Briggs Equity Fund

Established in 2021, the Equity Fund further supports BIPOC led organizations. The framework for includes:

  • Specifically earmarked funds for young BIPOC led organizations who would not typically be successful in a grant round under current criteria, due to age of organization or inexperience in grantmaking and reporting.
  • Organizations who demonstrate unique and creative ideas with well-formed strategies.
  • Organizations must possess 501c3 status.
  • We fund 1- 2 organizations per grant cycle.
  • Organization must contact Briggs for possible funding
  • Informal quarterly reporting
  • Submit to all grantee guidelines such as Child Protection Policy and biennial funding.

Briggs Funding Process

Funding Cycles:  Proposals due August 1 or February 1.


Potential grantees should begin discussions about potential applications prior to June 10 or December 10 for appropriate grant cycle.  Invitations to apply will begin June 25 and December 20 following discussions from the potential grantee.

Application Packet Summary

  • Proposal
  • Supplementary documents about organization

  1. Data of the following: board members, those served, staff and top 5 wage earners
  2. Staff responsible for this effort and their qualifications
  3. Project budget
  4. Board of Directors
  5. Annual budget
  6. Balance Sheet
  7. Profit and Loss
  8. Audit
  9. 501c3 letter from the IRS


The Application Packet must be submitted electronically to Donna Nash by the deadline.


Briggs desires to be a relational funder.  Additional information may be requested to give your application the greatest likelihood of success.


The Briggs Review Committee discusses each proposal prior to the Briggs Directors final decision.

Directors Meeting and Decision

Following the  Briggs Directors’ meeting, decisions are announced

  • Mid-November for the August 1 submissions
  • Mid-April for the February 1 submissions

Grant Letter and Child Protection Policy

Email notification will be sent to each successful applicant stating the amount of award and conditions.  If your organization works with anyone under the age of 18, you must have a policy the describes the policies and practices you have in place to train your staff to prevent and recognize 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, please contact:

Donna Nash, Executive Director

Thomas W. Briggs Foundation

119 South Main, Suite 500

Memphis, TN 38103