The William E. Barth Foundation is an Important Funder to Know in Louisville, Kentucky



Law firms are rarely the first point of contact for nonprofits seeking grants, but occasionally they are the exact entities to know when you need extra funds. For example, there’s a law firm in Louisville, Kentucky called Dodd & Dodd Attorneys that handles divorce, family law, and estate planning. This firm has been around since 1869, but it has also represented the charitable interests of the Barth Family for over 50 years.

Mrs. Louise Barth Laffan and Mrs. Dorothy Barth Jockell created the William E. Barth Foundation in honor of their brother. These sisters were Jefferson County, Kentucky school teachers and deeply concerned with the welfare of children in their home region. Dodd & Dodd Attorneys currently manages this foundation, which is a great one to know if you’re based in Louisville or elsewhere in Jefferson County.

Areas of Interest Are Broad

Although education is at the heart of how this funder operates, grantmaking areas of interest remain somewhat varied. The foundation has a broad interpretation of what “quality of life” means and regularly gives grants to human services, arts and culture, and housing organizations too. But what all of these groups have in common is their proximity. All grantees must serve the city of Louisville or other parts of Jefferson County. Past grantees include the Louisville Science Center, Olmstead Parks, St. Francis High School, and the Salvation Army.

Grants Are a Few Thousand Dollars

In the past, the Barth Foundation has supported around 50 to 75 local charities per year. These grants are often a few thousand dollars each, typically ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Yet the funder continues to give a little more with each passing year. Barth has been awarding grants since 1995, and total grants annual approved by the foundation usually exceeds five percent of the total portfolio value.

Get in Touch with the Law Firm Directly

Something unique about this Kentucky foundation is that grantseekers must get in touch directly with the law firm of Dodd & Dodd Attorneys to apply for a grant. The founding sisters initially thought about working through the local Louisville Community Foundation to award future grants but ultimately decided to use their attorney instead. The current foundation president is Allen P. Dodd, III, who is the best point of contact for local grantseekers’ questions and funding requests.

You can learn more about the William E. Barth Foundation and other locally focused foundations in our Southeast funder’s guide.