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The Duke Endowment


Last Updated: 2016-10-25

At A Glance

The Duke Endowment

800 E. Morehead St.

Charlotte, NC United States 28202-4012

Telephone: (704) 376-0291


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Celebrity: Business; Other

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $3,433,155,852

Total giving: $140,022,719





Additional Contact Information

E-mail for Charity L. Perkins, Dir., Comms.:


Trust established in 1924 in NJ - Founded by James Buchanan Duke, who was the founder of the American Tobacco Company and Duke Energy. In the 1890s, American Tobacco had a monopoly on cigarettes in the American market. Duke provided an initial $40 million trust fund for the Endowment and at the time of his death in 1925 his will provided an additional $67 million. Mr. Duke also directed that a substantial amount of funds be used in developing Duke University (known at the time as Trinity College), with the stipulation that the school be renamed in honor of his father, Washington Duke.

Purpose and Activities

Grants to nonprofit health care and child care institutions in NC and SC; rural United Methodist churches and its pastors in NC; and Duke, Furman, and Johnson C. Smith Universities, and Davidson College.

Program Area(s)

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

Child Care

General support for eligible child care institutions in North Carolina and South Carolina and support for special projects, including prevention efforts, institutional planning and staff training, and development programs.

Fellowship Program

The fellowship is a two-year, full-time assignment at the Endowment with an annual salary and benefits. Fellows are exposed to all aspects of philanthropy in the Endowment's four program areas, rotating through each area and gaining experience with many different issues across the Carolinas. Eligible candidates are past or current residents of North Carolina or South Carolina, or graduates of a college or university located in North Carolina or South Carolina. Fellows typically begin their work at the Endowment during the summer. For more information visit: .

Grants to Individuals Program

Pension assistance by nomination only to retired ministers, or their widows and dependent children, from the two NC conferences of the United Methodist Church.

Health Care

Support to nonprofit hospitals and other select healthcare organizations in North Carolina and South Carolina. Priority funding areas include programs that aim to improve the quality and safety of healthcare, to improve access to care and to expand preventive or early intervention programs. Specific areas of interest include programs for the low-income uninsured, workforce development, mental health, health information technology, rural health and prevention of chronic disease.

Higher Education

Designated support for Duke University, Davidson College, Furman University, and Johnson C. Smith University. Funding for these designated beneficiaries may be used to defray administrative and operating expenses, for buildings and equipment, or expansion of the campus, as additions to the school's endowment, or for other purposes that the endowment trustees approve. Support also for special projects, including faculty and student aid, academic programs, civic engagement and environmental sustainability.

Rural Church

Restricted for support to Duke University Divinity School, North Carolina United Methodist Churches located in areas of 1500 population or less, and for a pension fund for Methodist ministers retiring from the two conferences of the North Carolina United Methodist Church.

Fields of Interest

  • Child welfare
  • Health
  • Higher education
  • Hospital care
  • Methodism
  • Palliative care
  • Presbyterianism
  • Protestantism
  • Religion
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Children and youth
  • Christians
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Low-income and poor people
  • Methodists
  • Protestants

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $3,433,155,852 (market value)

Expenditures: $173,403,261

Total giving: $140,022,719

Qualifying distributions: $173,358,920

Giving activities include:

$140,022,719 for grants

$1,342,330 for 4 foundation-administered programs