Danforth Foundation was one of the largest private profit foundations in the St. Louis Metropolitan region. It closed its doors in 2011 after 84 years of operation and more than a billion dollars in grants distributed.
Established in 1927 by Ralston Purina founder William H. Danforth and his wife, the Danforth Foundation grants funded exclusively to the St. Louis region. In the 1950s and 1960s it funded many projects involving religion and higher education. The Danforth Fellows Program, which supported graduate study in religion for scholars in other fields, was folded into the Society for Values in Higher Education. In 1973 Methodist minister and theologian Merrimon Cuninggim resigned as executive director because of a perceived conflict of interest from a $60 million grant to Washington University in St. Louis authorized by William Henry Danforth, Jr., who was then both chairman of the foundation and chancellor of the university.
- "Danforth Foundation has ended its giving but not its influence". St. Louis Beacon. 2011-06-27. Retrieved 2008-11-03.
- "WILLIAM H. DANFORTH, FOUNDER". Archived from the original on 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2008-11-03.
- "Merrimon Cuninggim, 84, Minister and Educator". The New York Times. 1995-11-05. Retrieved 2008-11-03.