About Us

The John Edward Fowler Memorial Foundation was created in 1964 by Pearl Gunn Fowler in memory of her late husband, John Edward Fowler, a Northern Virginia businessman. In recent years, the Foundation awarded about $3 million in annual grants to organizations in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Typically, first-time grants receive less than $10,000, depending on the nature and size of the applicant. Larger grant requests are commonly approved where there is a need, on-going relationship, or capital purpose grants (which are awarded only to prior grantees).

Smaller, grassroots, neighborhood-based organizations that derive at least 50% of their revenue from private sources tend to be more successful applicants. Hands-on, direct service organizations are given preference over “umbrella” agencies. The Foundation looks for evidence of sound management, fiscal responsibility, and volunteer involvement. The Foundation is delighted to receive information about grantees’ activities and programs.

Above all, Fowler is interested in working with grantees who have identified an actual need and are focused on serving that need. Fowler celebrates creative innovation and unique approaches as well as traditional forms of need-based giving.

The Fowler Foundation has historically focused giving toward empowering underserved and at-risk people; but past giving is not indicative of future potential grantees.