F. M. Kirby Foundation announces $13.2 million in grants

News and Stories

Sansay House – Morristown, New Jersey
F. M. Kirby Foundation

MORRISTOWN January 16, 2020

The F. M. Kirby Foundation Board of Trustees announced 227 grants totaling $13.2 million were made in 2019 to nonprofit organizations working to foster self-reliance and create strong, healthy communities.

“2019 was an exciting and transitional year for us – exciting in that we invested in a couple significant, transformative capital projects outside our home state, specifically a Pre-K through 12 school with family connections in Durham, NC and a health clinic in a rural town in upstate NY, while also keeping to our core mission of general operating support to many long-term grantee partners in New Jersey and elsewhere,” stated S. Dillard Kirby, President. “It was transitionary in that we continued long-term planning by hiring Justin J. Kiczek as Executive Vice President in September, developing our full team here, and engaging our family’s next generation to a larger degree around the board table.”

Some 97 grants totaling over $5.3 million were awarded to New Jersey-based nonprofit organizations working to make a direct impact on people’s lives throughout the state, 64 of which, totaling $3.4 million, supported work in Morris County, the Foundation’s home county. Additional grants totaling $7.9 million supported organizations in New York, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina, regions connected to Kirby family members, as well as national nonprofits largely based in Washington D.C. and New York City.

Grants are made to nonprofit organizations in the arts and humanities, education, environment, health and medicine, human services, public policy, and religion. Over half of these organizations have been in at least 20-year partnerships with the Foundation, which holds a philosophy of long-term investments in effective programs.

“The F. M. Kirby Foundation’s mission calls us to invest in opportunities that foster self-reliance and help create strong, healthy communities,” Justin J. Kiczek offered. “As such, over the course of my first months here, I have taken delight in seeing how our grantees contribute to the well-being of the communities in which we work. Whether it be through our support of a local arts organization or a national medical research center, it is an honor to support non-profits that play such a vital role in helping individuals and families flourish. I look forward to working in partnership with our grantees to meet the challenges of our new decade.”

As it has done with other program dockets in the past, the Board participated in a comprehensive analysis of the Foundation’s higher education institutions and reform programs within its education docket, in which 47 grants totaling $3.4 million were awarded to family-connected institutions and alternative education programs that expand school choice and strengthen traditional education.

Other notable contributions include 63 grants totaling $3.3 million awarded to human services organizations serving various populations, including those experiencing homelessness or addiction, cancer patients and survivors, and youth and adults with disabilities; 20 grants to medical research organizations and investment in early-career scientists totaling $2.5 million; 29 grants totaling $1.3 million to environmental non-profits working towards land preservation, conservation, and stewardship; and 31 arts, culture, and humanities grants totaling $1.2 million awarded to theatres, museums, and art education and cultural programs throughout New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New York.

About the F. M. Kirby Foundation:

The F. M. Kirby Foundation is headquartered in Morristown, New Jersey. Endowed in 1931 by Fred Morgan Kirby, one of the founders of the F.W. Woolworth Company, it was designed to continue in perpetuity through generations of the family. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded nearly $750 million in grants. Five Kirby family members, currently spanning two generations, serve on the Board, as well as two non-family directors.