Danforth Foundation

Danforth Foundation
Formation 1927 (1927)
Founder William H. Danforth
Founded at St. Louis
Dissolved 2011; 10 years ago (2011)
Type Private nonprofit foundation
Legal status Defunct
Purpose Grants funds exclusively to the St. Louis region
Headquarters St. Louis

The Danforth Foundation was one of the largest private nonprofit 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


  1. ^ Singer, Dale (June 27, 2011). "Danforth Foundation has ended its giving but not its influence". St. Louis Beacon. St. Louis Public Radio. Archived from the original on 2011-08-25. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  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.

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