Sherman Fairchild Foundation: Grants for Higher Education

OVERVIEW: Founded in the 1950s, the Sherman Fairchild Foundation funds a variety of higher education organizations from private liberal arts colleges to elite East Coast colleges and universities across the United States.

IP TAKE: Unfortunately, the Fairchild Foundation lacks transparency and does not maintain a web presence. As a result, it’s unclear what its grantmaking strategies and priorities might be.

PROFILE: Since the 1950s, the Sherman Fairchild Foundation has developed a substantial higher education program that typically funds private, liberal arts colleges. The foundation broadly funds higher education institutions.

Tax filings suggest the foundation prioritizes higher education organizations in the form of universities. It has prioritized East Coast and New England schools, including Clark University in Massachusetts, which is a private liberal arts and research college. Past grantees also include Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire, and Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, N.Y. The foundation also funds schools beyond the Northeast. For instance, it has funded Midwestern schools such as Kalamazoo College, Lawrence University, and St. Louis University. While the foundation prioritizes smaller, private liberal arts colleges, significant funding has supported elite colleges and universities, including several Ivy League universities. Grants to these universities have funded a variety of projects and programs, including general funding support, special science or arts programs, technology purchases, and fundraising campaigns.

Applicants should note that this foundation favors funding grantees multiple grant cycles leaving less space for new grantees.

Without grantmaking guidelines or a website, it is difficult to judge exactly what Fairchild looks for in grantees.


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Sherman Fairchild Foundation
5454 Wisconsin Avenue #1205
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Telephone: (301) 913-5990