Frequently Asked Questions about the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation

Established by Richard M. (“Dick”) Fairbanks in 1986, the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation is an independent, private foundation whose mission is to advance the vitality of Indianapolis and the well-being of its people. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $200 million in grants.

The Foundation has 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.

Potential grantees should first determine if they are eligible to receive a grant from the Fairbanks Foundation and aligned with the Foundation’s current funding priorities. Eligible organizations seeking funding for projects or programs that fit with the Foundation’s focus areas should submit an inquiry as outlined in our grant application process. For other questions, please visit our Grants FAQ page.

The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation’s governance consists of a Board of Directors, its Officers, and a number of board committees. Learn more about our governance structure.

The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation is a completely separate entity from Fairbanks, the nonprofit alcohol and drug treatment center. In addition, the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation is not the fundraising arm for Fairbanks. However, there is a family connection between the two organizations. Fairbanks, the treatment center, is named in honor of Cornelia Cole Fairbanks, the wife of Charles Warren Fairbanks. Charles Warren and Cornelia Cole Fairbanks were the grandparents of Richard M. (“Dick”) Fairbanks.

In 1970, Dick Fairbanks arranged a grant from the Cornelia Cole Fairbanks Memorial Trust to the Indiana Home for Alcoholic Men. The grant, along with many other donations, enabled the creation of a new facility called the Cornelia Cole Fairbanks Home to provide long- and short-term treatment for alcoholism to both men and women. The program has grown into the alcohol and drug treatment center known today as Fairbanks, which serves men, women, adolescents, and their families.

For more information and history, please visit fairbankscd.org.