The John Edward Fowler Memorial Foundation was created in 1964 by Pearl Gunn Fowler in memory of her late husband, John Edward Fowler, a Northern Virginia businessman. In recent years the Foundation has awarded about $1.2 million in grants annually. Typically, first-time grants range between $5,000 and $10,000, depending on the nature and size of the applicant. Grants of $20,000 or more usually are reserved for long-time grantees with whom the Foundation has developed a relationship or for capital purpose grants (which are awarded only to prior grantees).
The Foundation prefers to award grants for operating support, but it accepts requests for project funding as well as facility purchase and improvements. The Foundation is delighted to receive information about grantees’ activities and programs.
The Fowler Foundation prefers to focus its giving on empowering disadvantaged people and is particularly interested in funding organizations that are addressing the following issues:
- At-risk children and youth (pre-school through high school)
- Adult literacy
- Free medical care (prenatal to seniors)
- Seniors aging in place
- Job training and placement
Smaller, grassroots, neighborhood-based organizations that derive at least 50% of their revenue from private sources tend to be more successful applicants. Hands-on, direct service organizations are given preference over "umbrella" agencies. The Foundation looks for evidence of sound management, fiscal responsibility, and volunteer involvement.