About

A private family foundation supporting work in underserved and diverse communities, primarily in Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, and Tennessee. We are especially committed to improving the health, welfare, and educational or otherwise positive development of people of color, people with disabilities, and veterans.

Key Issues:

* education and literacy;
* veteran support;
* emergency relief and hardship;
* organizational viability and capacity building;
* faith-based community outreach;
* arts and culture.

Please see:

  • Our grants page for details about our target geographic areas and our application process.
  • Our collaboration page for details about our openness to partnerships and coalition-building.
  • Our FAQ page for answers to frequently asked questions about how our foundation works, eligibility for grants, letters of inquiry, and both the grant application process and expectations for grantees whose proposals are accepted.
  • Our acknowledgments page for a list of professionals who have provided quality services to the foundation.
  • Our membership organizations page for information about the convening organizations in which we participate.

    Foundation History and Philosophy

      Founded in 2011 by James R. & Anita Horne Jenkins, the Jenkins Family Foundation serves as a mechanism through which the family strives to “stand in the gap” in communities important to them, especially for those marginalized by past and present circumstances and underserved by existing institutions, organizations, and groups. The concept of “standing in the gap” comes from the Bible, in Ezekial 22:30, during the proposed judgement of Jerusalem, when God looked for someone who would “build up the wall and stand before [Him] in the gap” on behalf of Jerusalem, someone who would do right by God and their community – as an intercessor – to help save the city and its people from destruction (also referenced in Psalms, Isaiah, and Jeremiah). By applying the God-given resources they steward toward community needs through the foundation, the board as a whole seeks to ensure the relevance and effectiveness of their outreach, appreciating the structure and community engagement built into this form of philanthropy.

      Our logo (scroll up or click here), therefore, truly serves as a visual representation of our mission and motto, as well as the values of our founders. We are just one unit among many, working to “stand in the gap” in our communities, but we intend to do our part. Held up by the central figure in the logo is a large flame, spreading light and warmth all around it. We strive to bring that level of intellectual illumination, as well as the sustaining warmth of compassion and shared resources, to this “gap” work we are pursuing. In all of this, we hope to embody and exhibit a Christ-like commitment to others, letting our light “so shine” in a world with many people who feel trapped in the dark.

      “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)