JPB Foundation: Should You Pursue Their Grants?

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Published:

December 4, 2022

Last Updated:

December 5, 2022

The JPB Foundation (JPBF) is committed to advancing innovative initiatives that empower people experiencing poverty, sustain the environment, and initiate medical research.

Funding from the JPB Foundation may present a good opportunity to build out new revenue sources for your nonprofit to support your projects and programs. But prior to pursuing one of their grants, it is necessary to understand their approach to grantmaking, their organizational priorities, and verify if their grants will result in a high return on investment for your nonprofit.

In this article, we will guide you through detailed information about the foundation’s giving history and projections for the future, helping you determine JPBF’s alignment with your nonprofit through an easy scoring system.

We will also provide you with next steps to prepare a successful grant proposal, and should you determine that the JPB Foundation is not a good fit for your nonprofit, do not fear! We will direct you to similar foundations that may better align with your needs.

Let us begin!

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JPB Foundation: Mission and Background

Mission

The JPB Foundation’s mission is to advance opportunities for people living in the United States by investing in transformative projects and initiatives that empower those experiencing poverty, improve and sustain the environment, and spearhead medical research.

The JPB Foundation may be an especially good fit for nonprofits that are focused on economic inequality, environmental justice and climate change, and medical research and health equity.

JPB Foundation Mission and Background

The JPB Foundation focuses its grantmaking across three central program areas: poverty, medical research and the environment.

  • Poverty: The JPB Foundation supports opportunities for individuals to move out of poverty and cultivate sustainable lives, achieving long-term stability and success. The foundation accomplishes this by supporting health, democracy, and economic justice initiatives.
  • Medical Research: The JPB Foundation invests its grantmaking in medical research efforts led by the top scientists across a variety of fields and healthcare areas. JPBF supports research on chronic illnesses, particularly research focused on neurological dysfunction and memory.
  • Environment: The JPB Foundation recognizes that ensuring healthy communities means supporting efforts that address the most dire environmental crises of our time. JPBF invests in projects that create sustainable energy, promote environmental health, develop green infrastructure, and advance field building efforts.

Take a look at the scoring criteria below and you can begin to develop a score that will help you determine your alignment with the JPB Foundation.

Criterion #1: Add a score in the range of 1-3 to indicate how closely your nonprofit’s mission aligns with the JPB Foundation.

Score Explanation
+1 Add this when there is little to no understanding of the alignment between you and the JPB Foundation
+2 Add this when there is a distant alignment between you and the JPB Foundation - e.g. Foundation supports a broader funding category.
+3 Add this where there is an evident close alignment between you and the JPB Foundation.

JPB Foundation: How to Apply and Active Grants

Apply

The JPB Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals, choosing instead to invest in nonprofit organizations and communities through a strict selection process.

While the JPB Foundation does not currently offer an open grantmaking process, that doesn’t mean this will be true in the future. Strategic networking can help open doors to foundation’s that do not have an open application process.

We will discuss networking and how to find information about JPB Foundation’s key stakeholders in depth a little further along in the article.

Instrumentl stays up to date with current RFPs and grantmaking opportunities for hundreds of foundations and other grantmaking organizations, including the JPB Foundation. Keep track of JPBF’s current grant opportunities by signing up for a 14-day trial with Instrumentl.

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JPB Foundation: Interesting Funder Insights

Insight

One of the key ways to determine if the JPB Foundation’s grantmaking program is a good match for your nonprofit is to analyze information from the foundation’s 990 reports.

However, reviewing a foundation’s 990 form can feel like a daunting task, especially for smaller grants teams and nonprofits who may not have the capacity to review cumbersome tax documents and reports.

Don’t worry! Instrumentl does the difficult part for you!

Instrumentl disseminates information from a variety of funders’ 990 reports into accessible data and charts that will help you easily understand key funding insights.

Instrumentl reviews and analyzes general giving trends, giving by NTEE code, and openness to new grantees to help nonprofit organizations understand the details in foundations’ 990 reports and determine if pursuing an opportunity will yield a high-return on investment (ROI).

Below are a few key insights into the JPB Foundation’s giving trends. Let’s dive in!

#1 General Giving Trends

Let’s begin by reviewing the JPB Foundation’s total giving over the past several years.

Information about a funder’s giving history can help identify what the foundations’ giving trends will look like in the future. This is the perfect place to begin when identifying if a grantmaker is a good fit for your nonprofit organization!

In 2019, the JPB Foundation gave a total of $261,902,892.

JPB Foundation General Giving Trends

As you can see from the graph above, the JPB Foundation has steadily increased its giving since 2013. Over the past three years, the JPB Foundation’s overall giving has increased by 10%.

This is a significant increase over a three year period, and is a strong indicator that the JPB Foundation has the capacity to give to new grantees or give a higher amount if your organization is a returning grantee.

Given this information, take a moment to add to your score to help determine your overall alignment with the JPB Foundation.

Criterion #2: Add 1 point to your funder score to reflect the JPB Foundation’s positive giving trend for the last 3 years.

Score Explanation
+1 Add this since the JPB Foundation has had an increasing overall giving trend for the last 3 years.

It is vital to look at more than just the data points around total giving. Analyzing giving trends such as average grant amount, median grant amount, and number of grants awarded will give you more accurate insight into the foundation’s priorities and their willingness to give to certain organizations, projects, or programs.

JPB Foundation Number of Grants

In 2019, the JPB Foundation awarded 339 grants. This is fairly consistent with the number of grants awarded over the past three years, but represents a significant increase since 2013.

Average grant size is another critical indicator. Over the past three years, the JPB Foundation’s average grant size has increased by 7.48%. This increase is a positive sign for grantseekers.

JPB Foundation Giving Average and Median

The foundation’s median grant amount was $500,000, which is quite substantial. Median grant amount has remained consistent over the past three years, with the median grant size sitting at $500,000 in 2017 and 2018 as well.

Criterion #3: Add 1 point to your funder score to reflect the increase in the average grant amount given by the JPB Foundation for the past 3 years.

Score Explanation
+1 Add this when the average grant amount awarded by the JPB Foundation has increased for the past 3 years.

#2 Funding by NTEE Code

It is crucial to understand a foundation’s trends in giving amount, but it is equally important to determine a foundation’s willingness to give based on the type of organizations they have historically given to.

Determining the foundation’s willingness to support organizations and projects that are similar to yours can be accomplished by analyzing NTEE (National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities) codes.

According to Instrumentl’s NTEE breakdown for the JPB Foundation, the top three focus areas supported by the foundation are Environment, Human Services, and Education, awarding a total of $124,937,750, $98,392,270, and $90,342,933 respectively between 2017 and 2019.

JPB Foundation NTEE Code Details

You can learn even more by analyzing NTEE subcategories. A category like Environment or Human Services is very broad and only gives us general insight to the types of organizations that the JPB Foundation aims to give to. Subcategories can help you determine if your specific project really aligns with the foundation’s giving priorities.

For example, within the larger category of Environment, there are subcategories such as Research Institutes & Public Policy Analysis, Management & Technical Assistance, and Fund Raising & Fund Distribution—each with varying total award counts and median grant amounts.

JPB Foundation NTEE Code Details

Reviewing an organization’s NTEE codes and NTEE subcategories is a great way to determine if the amount you are requesting is appropriate and aligned with the foundation’s giving history.

This is only a surface level analysis of the JPB Foundation’s giving by NTEE codes. To learn more, you can sign up for a 14-day free trial of Instrumentl to take an even deeper dive into the NTEE codes for the JPB Foundation.

Given what you have learned based on the types of organizations the JPB Foundation gives to, add to your overall alignment score.

Criterion #4: Add a score in the range of 0-2 to your funder score to indicate whether the JPB Foundation’s funding for your niche is what you desire.

Score Explanation
0 Add this when the JPB Foundation's funding for your niche lies below your desired amount.
+1 Add this when the JPB Foundation's funding for your niche is around your desired amount.
+2 Add this when the JPB Foundation's funding for your niche is greater than your desired amount.

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#3 Openness to New Grantees and Average Giving Amounts

If you and your organization are approaching a funder about a grant opportunity, it is vital to know the grantmaker’s openness to new grantees.

According to trends from Instrumentl, 22% of the JPB Foundation’s giving went to new grantees and 78% their giving went to returning or repeat grantees over the past three years.

JPB Foundation Openness to New Grantees

This aligns with the foundation’s approach to grantmaking. Since the foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals, it makes sense that they would be partial to giving to organizations they are already familiar with and have given to in the past.

In 2019, the average grant size for repeat grantees was $890,202 while the average grant size for new grantees was $297,013.

JPB Foundation Openness to New Grantees

Take the information you have gathered from analyzing the JPB Foundation’s openness to new grantees and add to your score.

Criterion #5: If you are a new grantee, add the JPB Foundation’s proportion of giving to new grantees to your funder score.

If you are a repeat grantee, add the JPB Foundation’s proportion of giving to repeat grantees to your funder score.

The numbers below are based on percentages of returning vs. new grantees over the last three years.

Score Explanation
0.22 Add this when you are a new grantee for the JPB Foundation.
0.78 Add this when you are a repeat grantee for the JPB Foundation.

[BONUS TIP] Geographic Distribution of Past Grantees

When making final determinations about the JPB Foundation, you will need to consider the geographic distribution of their giving. Take a look at the map below from the JPB Foundation’s profile on Instrumentl.

JPB Foundation Past Grantees

As you can see by reviewing the infographic above, the JPB Foundation focuses their grantmaking on organizations that are located and operating in the United States. Upon closer inspection, the JPB Foundation specifically targets organizations located in New York.

Location is an important indicator for nonprofit organizations to determine if a funder is a good fit. Knowing if a funder has given to other organizations in your state or if the funder has never given to your state at all can help you better determine a foundation’s willingness to give to your nonprofit.

Criterion #6: Add a score in the range of 0-3 to your funder score to indicate whether or not your organization’s state has been historically represented.

Score Explanation
0 Add this when your state isn't historically represented - shaded in white - among past grantees.
+1 Add this when your state is sparsely represented - shaded in light purple - among past grantees.
+2 Add this when your state is represented more heavily - shaded in darker purple - among past grantees.
+3 Add this when your state is represented most heavily - shaded in darkest purple - among past grantees.

JPB Foundation: Key People and Past Grantees

Key People

If by now you have identified that your organization is well aligned with the JPB Foundation, you are ready to take action on next steps: getting in touch with the foundation’s key stakeholders, staff, and past grantees.

Get in Touch With Key People

Success in the nonprofit sector often requires making key connections and relying on existing networks of sector partnerships.

For new or smaller nonprofits this might be an intimidating task. How do you identify who is a key person at a foundation, and what is the best way to reach out to them?

Have no fear! Instrumentl compiles helpful lists of key people at foundations so you can find their names in one easy to access place and begin making connections to the appropriate persons who can help you get closer to winning a grant.

Take a look at the list below pulled directly from the JPB Foundation’s profile on Instrumentl.

JPB Foundation Key People

Contact Past Grantees

In addition to approaching key individuals, it is also important to identify and potentially reach out to past grantees.

Establishing key relationships with past and even current grant recipients can give you critical insight into a foundation’s priorities and grantmaking process.

Here are just a few grantees who have partnered with the JPB Foundation in the past. Sign up for a 14-day trial with Instrumentl to review a comprehensive list of the JPB Foundation’s grant recipients.

JPB Foundation Grant Recipients

Foundations Similar to the JPB Foundation

Foundation

Now that you have reviewed everything you need to know about the JPB Foundation, you might have come to the conclusion that a grant opportunity with them is just not a great fit for your nonprofit.

Not a problem! It is just as important to identify the types of foundations and RFPs that don’t work for your nonprofit as it is to find an opportunity that is a perfect match.

To help you get started on the next step in your prospect research, here is a list of other foundations that are similar to the JPB Foundation for you to look into:

  • The Tides Foundation
  • The W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • The Nathan Cummings Foundation
  • The J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Foundation
  • The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation
  • The Hyams Foundation
  • Borealis Philanthropy
  • Marguerite Casey Foundation
  • William T. Grant Foundation

Wrapping Up: The JPB Foundation and YOU

Score

Whether you have discovered the JPB Foundation is a good fit or a poor fit for your nonprofit, you are still one step closer to securing new funding for your organization.

Now that we have come to the close of the article, go ahead and add up all of your scores from the previous sections. Take a look at the final tally to determine your alignment with the JPB Foundation:

  • Great fit: 8.5 - 11
  • Good fit: 3.8 - 7.8
  • Bad fit: < - 0.8

When you sign up for Instrumentl, you will have access to thousands of foundations and key data points and other information that will point you in the right direction of active RFPs and other grant opportunities, resulting in a high return on investment for your nonprofit organization.

Visit Instrumentl’s website to start your 14-day free trial and tap into a robust compendium of foundations and grant opportunities today!

Instrumentl team

Instrumentl team

Instrumentl is the all-in-one grant management tool for nonprofits and consultants who want to find and win more grants without the stress of juggling grant work through disparate tools and sticky notes.

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