Most of our grant programs* have open application processes that begin with a letter of inquiry (LOI). We do not accept LOIs via mail or email. The entire LOI and application process is online. Your LOI will be reviewed to determine whether the proposed effort fits sufficiently with our Mission and Program Goals to merit further review. If so, we will invite you to submit a full application. View our grant programs or Click here to apply

*The Good Food Policy Program is an invited application process.

LFF does not publish a formal annual report. We do our best to keep our website current, including previous grantees and up-to-date program information. Please see each grant program for a list of current and past grantees. Read our various News items for more information about what LFF is working on in the communities we serve, and the broader field of philanthropy. For detailed financial information, please see our 990 forms at www.guidestar.org.

The opportunity for recognition plays no part in our decision to award a grant. However, we are aware of the role donor recognition plays in an effective development program, and we willingly receive it. Please do not give gifts to The Foundation, our staff, or members; it is reward enough for us to be able to provide support to worthy organizations.

Please contact Lindy Wheatley with any questions regarding logo files and considerations for use.

Lindy Wheatley

Program Assistant
Phone: 217-234-2095

Some of our grant programs* have two open grant cycles per year and include an LOI phase and an application phase.

When a cycle opens for a particular program, eligible organizations are encouraged to submit an LOI through our online grantmaking system. Organizations will be notified via email of their LOI acceptance or declination on or before the “applications invited” date. If a full application is requested, a committee of members and community volunteers will review your application upon submission.

We do our best to keep the entire process to around 12 weeks. We will contact you via email with an acceptance or declination of the full application. All due dates are posted on each grant program page. (Please be sure that the contact email you use in our online grantmaking system is one that is checked frequently.)

*The Good Food Policy Program is an invited grant program that does not have an LOI phase. The Nature-Based Climate Action program, North Lawndale Fresh (Spring), and Austin Fresh (Fall) programs each have only one cycle.

The Lumpkin family is made up of descendants and spouses of the original donor, Besse A. Lumpkin. Although the family’s start can be traced to Mattoon, Illinois, members now live in many communities across the US and England. There are more than 30 family members over the age of 16 involved in the Foundation.

Our community relations representative is our Executive Director, Bruce Karmazin.

Bruce Karmazin

Executive Director
Phone: 217-235-9475

The Foundation had assets of approximately $39 million as of August 2023. On average, in recent years, we have used approximately $2 million for grants or foundation-initiated programs, depending on the performance of the endowment investments. For more specific information, we encourage you to review our tax returns at www.guidestar.org.

A post grant report is a requirement of nearly all grants. It is an opportunity to share what worked well, and what did not, and to what degree the project accomplished its goals. The date will vary, but the majority of reports are due 11 or 12 months from approval. This will be communicated to you when your grant is awarded. Your report template will be accessible through our Apply/Report here portal. Most post grant reports are similar to the following example for the Aspiramos Juntos program:

Aspiramos Juntos Fall 2020 Grant Report

Land, Health, Community grantees should be prepared to report on their chosen Outcomes and Metrics. (For more about the Land, Health, Community Outcomes and Metrics see also the FAQ on LHC Outcomes and Metrics). Please feel free to contact LFF staff with any questions about your reporting date or details.

We love to hear from people interested in the work of The Lumpkin Family Foundation. If you are new to applying to us for a grant or would like to discuss a specific idea or possible partnership with The Foundation, feel free to contact us. View our staff member page.

We fund mainly in East Central Illinois, radiating out from Coles County. We also provide financial support to organizations in Chicago through our Aspiramos Juntos, North Lawndale Fresh, and Austin Fresh programs. Our Good Food Policy Program supports national advocacy groups and organizations across the US. View our grant programs. 

If your organization is invited to submit an application, you may be contacted by LFF staff to arrange a site visit. Not all applicants will receive a site visit request. LFF site visits may either be in person or conducted remotely via video conference, and staff will do their best to give two week’s scheduling notice. Site visits are a chance to discuss your application, your project, and your organization as a whole with LFF staff and occasionally trustees. We will not provide a formal agenda, but you should be prepared to answer questions and are invited to ask questions of your own. We aim for the site visit to be a conversational learning experience for both LFF staff and your organization.

The board includes seven Lumpkin family members and two independent trustees with roots in East Central Illinois. View Our Trustees.

Land, Health, Community is our longest-running grant program. As part of its application process, you are asked to choose from a list of Outcomes and Metrics that can be utilized to evaluate your grant. With aggregated data from these shared Outcomes and Metrics, LFF has started tracking progress in fulfilling our mission. Starting in Fall 2020, LHC applicants may also write-in one of their own Outcomes and/or Metrics pertaining to their proposal. This will allow for more evaluation flexibility while helping LFF learn about what Outcomes and Metrics are most useful to our grantees. Please contact staff with any questions about the Land, Health, Community Outcomes and Metrics.

As our mission states, we support organizations who are working towards healthy, sustainable communities. Please see our grant programs and past grantees for more information about who we have funded recently.

Proposals will be considered from eligible 501(c)(3) organizations that reflect The Lumpkin Family Foundation's mission, serve the community without discrimination on the basis of race, sex, or religion, keep books available for regular independent outside audit, make results available to all potential contributors, and comply with applicable laws regarding registration and reporting. If you are not a 501(c)(3) organization and have a question about funding eligibility, please contact us.

The amount of time varies a great deal depending on how complicated your project is and how ready you are to apply.  The following sample forms should help you know what is needed for the process.

Land, Health, Community LOI    Land, Health, Community Application  

Aspiramos Juntos LOI      Aspiramos Juntos Application   

Please contact us with any further questions regarding these forms or any part of the application process.  

We encourage you to apply for funding for the project or activity you are most passionate about and that will have the greatest impact. With that said, we do not have a policy against applying for more than one grant either across our program areas or within one specific program area.

If you are a current grant recipient and are interested in applying for new funding for another project idea, we encourage you to reach out to the appropriate Program Officer to discuss your application prior to submission.