Message From The Executive Director

Dr. Jan Young

The mission of The Assisi Foundation of Memphis, Inc. is simply, philanthropy. Whether we use the ancient Greek, classic, or modern definition of philanthropy, we are committed to service for the public good.

A Jesuit priest, paraphrasing Hubert H. Humphrey, once challenged a group of foundation leaders saying: “There are many who will help us serve those who are in the dawn of life—the children; some who will help us serve those who are in the twilight of life—the elderly. Our moral imperative is to never forget to serve those who live in shadows: the poor, the sick; the handicapped; the abandoned.”  

At The Assisi Foundation, we do not forget.

Inspired by the legacy of St. Francis of Assisi and influenced by our history of health care, we are mindful of the challenge to judiciously allocate our finite resources. Thus, effective philanthropy is a primary goal.

Our vision is to be the best in class. Although most of our grants are responsive to applications made to the Foundation, a percentage are proactively based on issues identified by our Board or staff. The following poem captures the spirit of these latter types of grants:

“In my dream,
the angel shrugged and said,
If we fail this time,
it will be a failure of imagination
& then she placed the world gently
in the palm of my hand.”
         - Story People by Brian Andreas