Skip to main content

Jessie Ball duPont Fund


Last Updated: 2016-05-29

At A Glance

Jessie Ball duPont Fund

(formerly Jessie Ball duPont Religious, Charitable and Educational Fund)

1 Independent Dr., Ste. 1400

Jacksonville, FL United States 32202-5011

Telephone: (800) 252-3452


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $292,620,199

Total giving: $10,031,639





Additional Contact Information

E-mail for Davena Sawyer, Exec. Asst. to the President:


Trust established in 1976 in FL - Jessie Ball duPont was the widow of financier and industrialist Alfred I. duPont and a successful businesswoman and philanthropist in her own right. She successfully managed the vast duPont empire in Florida and supported hundreds of churches, schools, and nonprofit organizations nationwide with her charitable largesse. At the time of her death in 1970, her estate was considered to be the largest ever filed in the state of Florida. Her will specifically called for the bulk of her estate to be used to perpetuate her philanthropy by creating the Jessie Ball duPont Religious, Charitable and Educational Fund, now known as the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. As requested in Mrs. duPont's will, the fund limits its giving to those institutions to which the donor contributed personally during the five-year period ending Dec. 31, 1964

Purpose and Activities

The fund’s three focus areas are: 1) helping eligible organizations to be financially healthy, organizationally sound and strategically responsive to the changing needs of their communities and constituents; 2) helping communities gain access to the essentials of healthy, productive living: financial assets, health care, quality education and job preparation, affordable housing and strong and safe communities; and 3) helping to strengthen the nonprofit sector by supporting research, community education, and infrastructure development and advocacy.

Program Area(s)

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

Competitive Grants

The fund's competitive grantmaking program responds to individual proposals initiated by the eligible organizations. This program funds, on a competitive basis, the very best ideas that come forward. The objective of the proposal is determined by the applying organization. Quality of the idea, relevance to the organization's constituency and community, and consistency with the grantmaking goals of the fund are the principal criteria that inform the trustee's grantmaking.

Feasibility Grants

The fund recognizes that programmatic excellence is defined both by an organization's vision and by its capacity to accomplish that vision. Feasibility grants, by providing limited, short-term funding, allow eligible organizations to ask and answer fundamental questions before undertaking new work. The typical feasibility grant ranges up to $5,000. .

Independent School Initiative

To help build the capacity of 17 private independent, pre-collegiate schools, the new head of an independent school with an endowment of less than $40 million may receive a discretionary grant of $10,000 for three consecutive years upon his/her appointment.

Nonprofit Initiative

Traditional nonprofit organizations comprise the largest group of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund’s eligible organizations. The majority of these nonprofits are eligible for support through this initiative (excluded are 16 hospitals and four private foundations). These nonprofits are eligible: 1) to receive an Executive Director’s Discretionary Fund grant of $10,000; 2) to attend the Jessie Ball duPont Fund Nonprofit Institute. Institute curricula are designed for nonprofit executives and their board chairs and for emerging leaders from within eligible nonprofit organizations. .

Program-Related Investment

The foundation makes PRIs through the Religion Initiative. Repair and Restoration loans are available to churches with annual incomes of $150,000 or less to make repairs or improvements to church buildings exceeding $75,000. In these cases, zero-interest loans of up to $25,000 are available.

Relief Grants

The trustees occasionally make, on an unsolicited basis, relief grants in response to disasters or other extraordinary events, such as hurricanes and tsunamis.

Religion Initiative

The religious organizations eligible for fund support include religious judicatories, a synagogue and churches ranging from small rural congregations to large urban cathedrals. The fund supports these institutions through three grantmaking areas: 1) People in Need Grants fund eligible churches to provide charitable services to society’s poorest members. Churches may apply annually for grants of $10,000. The churches then redistribute 100 percent of these funds to the needy in their communities. Under no circumstances may these funds be used to support a special program, event or the general operations of the church; 2) Repair and Restoration grants provide much needed capital improvement dollars for church buildings. Churches with annual incomes of $150,000 or less are eligible for a 2:1 matching grant of up to $50,000. For projects whose total cost exceeds $75,000, the Fund also offers interest-free loans of up to $25,000, payable over five years; 3) Diocesan Enrichment Funds support the seven Episcopal Dioceses and one Catholic Archdiocese that are eligible organizations. Bishops and Archbishops are eligible for up to $10,000 a year, half of which must be used to support clergy who serve financially assisted congregations (mission churches) as discretionary funds. The other half may be used to support needs determined at the Bishop’s or Archbishop’s discretion.

Small Liberal Arts Colleges Initiative

The fund considers the small private and public liberal arts college to be among the nation’s most vital assets. To support these institutions — 42 of which are eligible for Jessie Ball duPont Fund support — the Fund created two programs: 1) Discretionary Fund for New Presidents — The new president of a small private liberal arts college with an endowment of less than $50 million may receive a discretionary grant of $10,000 for three consecutive years upon his/her appointment; 2) Jessie Ball duPont Fund/National Humanities Center Summer Seminar is a three-week summer session for college professors teaching at the 42 small private and public colleges. It is held each June at the National Humanities Center campus in North Carolina.

Technical Assistance Grants

The fund provides technical assistance grants of up to $4,000 to help support strategic planning, consultancies, staff and board professional development, or technology.

Fields of Interest

  • Arts and culture
  • Child care
  • Community and economic development
  • Crime prevention
  • Economic development
  • Education
  • Health
  • Higher education
  • Historic preservation
  • Human services
  • Religion
  • Secondary education
  • Youth services
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Homeless people
  • Low-income and poor people
  • People with HIV/AIDS

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $292,620,199 (market value)

Gifts received: $98,186

Expenditures: $14,855,114

Total giving: $10,031,639

Qualifying distributions: $30,420,302