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Arthur Vining Davis Foundations

Manager: Cheryl Mirer
Priority: Open


The Foundations are comprised of three separate foundations established in 1952 and 1965 in PA; and in 1965 in FL. In early 2001, Foundation No. 1 merged with Foundation No. 2.

Founded by the late Arthur Vining Davis, who made his fortune as an industrialist with the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA). The company is a world leader in the production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina combined, through its active and growing participation in all major aspects of the industry. There were three distinct Davis Foundations designated as Foundations No. 1, 2, and 3. Foundation No. 1 was organized in 1952 during Mr. Davis's lifetime. Foundations No. 2 and No. 3, substantially larger, were created upon the death of the founder in 1965. Mr. Davis's will specified their creation to receive the major share of his estate, estimated at $43 million. Foundations No. 2 and No. 3 began operations in 1967. In early 2001, Foundation No. 1 was merged with Foundation No. 2. Although the two foundations are operated and administered as separate legal entities, they share a single administrative office located in Jacksonville and are administered by one staff. Both foundations share the same board of trustees except that BNY Mellon Bank is corporate trustee for Foundation No. 2 while SunTrust Banks is corporate trustee for Foundation No. 3. The foundations advise that no purpose is served by addressing requests to one of the individual foundations, to members of the board or to an address other than that of the common office.


media, medical school, higher education


Giving limited to the U.S., including possessions and territories.

No support for community chests, publicly governed colleges and universities, and institutions primarily supported by government funds (except in secondary education and health care programs), voter education, voter registration drives, or projects incurring obligations extending over many years.

No grants to individuals; no loans.


Year ended 2013-12-31

Assets: $243,819,481 (market value)

Expenditures: $12,144,977

Total giving: $9,692,727

Qualifying distributions: $11,420,491

Giving activities include:

$9,692,727 for 65 grants (high: $300,000; low: $1,200)


The following grants are a representative sample of this grantmaker's funding activity:

  • $285,000 to W E T A-Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications Association, Arlington, VA, in 2011. To complete production of PBS series, The Latino Americans
  • $250,000 to Hampden-Sydney College, Hampden Sydney, VA, in 2011. For classroom improvements
  • $250,000 to Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, CA, in 2011. For endowment for programming at the Center for Writing and Public Discourse
  • $200,000 to Catholic Theological Union at Chicago, Chicago, IL, in 2011. For scholarships for lay students
  • $200,000 to Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA, in 2011. For purchase of Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope
  • $200,000 to Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, TX, in 2011. For scholarship enhancement for highly qualified Master of Divinity degree students
  • $191,532 to Brown University, Providence, RI, in 2011. For professional development and literacy instruction for high school teachers
  • $190,000 to Duke University, Durham, NC, in 2011. For Civic Engagement Program
  • $100,000 to New York University, New York, NY, in 2011. For dissemination of a curriculum for instilling caring attitudes in surgical residents

Last updated May 2015