Application Guidelines

The Ellis L. Phillips Foundation is a small family foundation dedicated to the ideals of Kathryn and Ellis Phillips, to identify “what needs to be done” and provide strategic investments in projects that serve as catalysts for the greater good.

The foundation’s grantmaking is personal. We give to charities especially, though not exclusively, whom our trustees personally support, in communities where Board and family members live and work, or in fields in which we have special knowledge and interest. Though our grants are modest in size, we aim to make strategically significant investments –– in people, ideas and projects, that serve as a “spark” to measurably further an organization’s mission and purpose while also attracting new supporters and participants.

Our interests include informal education, the environment, human services, visual arts and music, historic preservation, the promotion of philanthropy, and foundation-initiated projects where the foundation can serve as a convener and collaborator. We generally do not fund capital campaigns, and generally prefer transformative special project support over general operating requests.

We do not accept uninvited proposals, but we welcome 1- or 2-page concept papers introducing your organization and project, its purposes, means of accomplishment, probable costs and results. Charities interested in working with the foundation may email a project description to