The Gambrell Foundation Names New President, Brian Collier. Click Here For the Press Release

Charitable Scope

Our Approach

The Gambrell Foundation has a passion for fighting against inequity. We are helping to break down the barriers and build bridges to access needed resources that allow individuals to become self-sufficient and help communities thrive. The American dream should be possible for all. These barriers exist in multiple critical areas, each of which represent an area of strategic priority.

Our Focus

The focus of our scope can be categorized into the following areas:

At Risk Youth
Vibrant Communities

As a private foundation, we synthesize the Strategic Priorities we are passionate about with a disciplined approach to funding decisions. Because each priority area spans a myriad of possible opportunities, The Gambrell Foundation applies a deliberate set of criteria to evaluate each one on a quarterly basis. The goal is to give every idea a review that is fair in its uniformity and adequately rigorous to ensure the foundation’s support is well placed, well-timed and serves the greatest good efficiently.

Funding Parameters

While actively pursuing solutions in our target areas, the The Gambrell Foundation is currently not soliciting or answering inbound grant proposals.

If you have an access code to our online grants system, please click here to access.

Strategic Priorities


Classroom Central


There is no more important place to begin leveling the playing field for social and economic mobility than in our education system. This is where dreams can be fostered and economic prospects begin. We envision a successful education system as having a diverse student and teacher population with equal access to talent, technology, safety and quality learning environments for every child. Our goal is to ensure all children have access to resources that can help them contribute to society and create a meaningful and independent life.

At Risk Youth

Project L.I.F.T.

At Risk Youth

Young people today face greater pressures and challenges while receiving more conflicting messages than ever before. Ensuring stable footing and a safe environment in which to prosper, grow, and contribute are paramount for our youth. Issues impact boys, girls, LGBTQ youth, and minority youth differently. The myriad of unique issues continues to grow. Solutions can be the same and they can be different. The Gambrell Foundation supports efforts such as resources, projects, and communications and education efforts that address at risk youth across a broad spectrum of issues.

Charlotte, NC

Vibrant Healthy Communities

There are many ways to define a vibrant and just community. While we primarily focus on Charlotte region communities, we know the solutions to a healthy, vibrant Charlotte are not all found here. To ensure our region is an equitable and just place we want to fill the gaps through partnerships to drive innovation and create speed for results and change. Together we look forward to staking this claim.

Evaluation Criteria


Ideal requests will be from not-for-profit 501(c)3 organizations that are sufficiently staffed and organized to handle an influx of support. Funding is not available for individual pursuits.


We believe in right timing. Requests should be able to show positive momentum over a sufficient period of time and organizations that are at an intersection of need and capability. Results can be in organizational growth, expansion of service area or population, financial (either increased costs due to growth or a positive trend in donations), growth in volunteer support, etc.


Requests will be able to clearly demonstrate a critical need through definition of their service population using geographic scope, demographics and ethnographic studies. A mix of qualitative and quantitative support is recommended.

Financial Health

Organizations must be able to share adequate financial information for an assessment including, but not limited to, a balance sheet, and income statement, and an IRS Form 990.


Organizations should not only have a need, but a well-crafted plan to address it. We look for plans that accurately reflect such things as your current mission, strengths and resources. Your plan can be in a draft form, but the basic structure of it should articulate a logical approach, expected outcomes and KPIs (key performance indicators) by which you’ll define success. It should also include pro-forma financials that show the impact of the requested funding.

Annual Report

2019 marked a significant year of community impact for The Gambrell Foundation. We continued to explore innovative new ideas as well as deliver on our past commitments. As part of our mission to address inequity, we brought two groups of diverse community leaders to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. to experience and discuss the lessons highlighted in this national treasure.

A few of our exciting partnerships this year ranged from working with the UNC Charlotte Faculty Fellow Program, enhancing the influence of philanthropy through the Southeastern Council of Foundations, supporting Brookings Institution research that enables the Opportunity Insights work to bridge Charlotte’s economic mobility divide, to a new year of partnership with Communities In Schools.

Our annual report will provide greater detail of our activities in 2019. We are excited to share our year with you and are thankful for the many organizations we work with that are making a difference in Charlotte. Learn more by downloading our annual report below.

Download Annual Report