Danforth Foundation

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Danforth Foundation
Formation1927 (1927)
FounderWilliam H. Danforth
Founded atSt. Louis
Extinction2011; 8 years ago (2011)
TypePrivate profit foundation
PurposeGrants funds exclusively to the St. Louis region

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.[1]


Established in 1927 by Ralston Purina founder William H. Danforth and his wife,[2] 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.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Danforth Foundation has ended its giving but not its influence". St. Louis Beacon. 2011-06-27. Archived from the original on 2011-08-25. Retrieved 2008-11-03.
  2. ^ "WILLIAM H. DANFORTH, FOUNDER". Archived from the original on 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2008-11-03.
  3. ^ "Merrimon Cuninggim, 84, Minister and Educator". The New York Times. 1995-11-05. Retrieved 2008-11-03.

External links[edit]