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Benwood Foundation, Inc.


Last Updated: 2016-07-17

At A Glance

Benwood Foundation, Inc.

736 Market St., Ste. 1600

Chattanooga, TN United States 37402-4807


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $113,897,698

Total giving: $8,503,995





Additional Contact Information

E-mail for Sarah H. Morgan:


Incorporated in 1944 in DE, and 1945 in TN - Founded by George Thomas Hunter, former Chair. of the Coca-Cola bottling company, Thomas, Inc. After his death in 1950, the bulk of his multimillion dollar estate was bequeathed to the foundation

Purpose and Activities

The foundation seeks to stimulate creative and innovative efforts to build and strengthen the Chattanooga, TN community.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Arts and Culture

Arts communities bring diverse groups together, attract new investment, and provide exciting new tools in ongoing efforts to further revitalize Chattanooga. The foundation will give special consideration to investing in cultural projects that enhance the community's educational, development and/or environmental goals. Organizations that best fit the foundation's priorities will be invited to submit grant proposals.


The foundation believes that Chattanooga's economic growth and neighborhood initiatives should be balanced with efforts to preserve and protect the community's natural environment. In seeking effective conservation of diverse and precious natural resources, the foundation supports efforts to educate the community about the critical importance of the environment. Organizations that best fit the foundation's priorities will be invited to submit grant proposals.

Gaining Ground

Realizing the need for significant changes to Chattanooga's food system, the foundation launched the program in 2010, aimed specifically at bolstering the production and consumption of locally grown food in the Chattanooga area. By building strong connections in Chattanooga’s food system, supporting partners from farm to table, informing policymakers and inspiring the public, Gaining Ground aspires to help bring better food to all and help the region view food in new ways. Gaining Ground is investing in the transformation of not only the economy of Chattanooga's local food system, but also the culture in which it is embedded. The foundation has planned to invest up to $1.65 million in Gaining Ground over a three-year period. For more information contact: Jeff Pfitzer, Prog. Off., tel.: (423) 785-4231, e-mail: or see: .

Neighborhood and Community Development

The foundation believes that vibrant neighborhoods and a thriving downtown are critical to a community's viability and it seeks to enhance the quality of life in diverse neighborhoods, including downtown. It is responsive to local community and neighborhood needs, especially those that connect local economic development with inner city and distressed area opportunities. Organizations that best fit the foundation's priorities will be invited to submit grant proposals.

Program-Related Investment

The foundation has made PRIs to a federation for community development to promote neighborhood and community building. The foundation has stated that it plans to actively continue awarding program-related investments.

Public Education

The foundation believes that excellent public education is critical to the community's quality of life and economic vitality. Its current long-term investment in school improvement has focused on academic achievement, with emphasis on literacy, in eight inner-city public elementary schools. The foundation will build on the successes of the Benwood Initiative by promoting lasting quality education in public elementary schools throughout Hamilton County.

Fields of Interest

  • Arts and culture
  • Early childhood education
  • Economic development
  • Environment
  • Humanities
  • Performing arts
  • Secondary education
  • Sustainable development
  • Urban development
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Low-income and poor people
  • Students

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $113,897,698 (market value)

Expenditures: $9,937,245

Total giving: $8,503,995

Qualifying distributions: $9,675,335