About the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation

The mission of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation is to advance the vitality of Indianapolis and the well-being of its people. We strive to achieve this mission by addressing some of the city’s most significant challenges and opportunities.

The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Richard M. (“Dick”) Fairbanks to strengthen the city of Indianapolis and perpetuate the Fairbanks legacy in the city where his family prospered for over a century. He was the President of the Foundation until his death in August 2000.

Governed by a ten-member Board of Directors, the Foundation awards grants to tax-exempt organizations serving greater Indianapolis, Indiana. We have three focus areas: Education, Health, and the Vitality of Indianapolis. In addition, several organizations receive grant support from the Foundation due to a historical connection with Dick Fairbanks and his family.

The work of the Foundation is guided by three core values:

  • Adhere to the core beliefs and intent of our founder, Richard M. Fairbanks, who established the Foundation for the benefit of the people of Indianapolis.
  • Conduct our work with a spirit of entrepreneurialism, a willingness to take risks, and a focus on results, while remaining nimble and opportunistic.
  • Respect the perspectives and experiences of all with whom we interact.

As a general philosophy, the Foundation seeks to support organizations and initiatives that are led by highly effective boards and executive leadership, that are goal-oriented, and that consistently deliver strong outcomes. We are particularly interested in supporting initiatives designed to bring about transformative change within our focus areas.

To maximize its impact, the Foundation directs its resources toward the focus areas and goals it has identified. However, in keeping with its core values, the Foundation remains nimble and opportunistic when assessing opportunities and challenges facing the people of greater Indianapolis. In addition, the Foundation continuously seeks to identify innovative, outcomes-driven initiatives that will significantly enhance the vitality of the city.

We hope you’ll take a moment to review our grant application process. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Additional Resources

Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation: Fact Sheet 2017

Video Summary of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation’s Focus Areas: Education, Health, and the Vitality of Indianapolis

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