The Maddox Fund believes that all human beings are interconnected, not just with one another, but with all of nature – a belief that makes our desire to foster connection and a sense of belonging even more urgent

For young people to flourish, they must be surrounded by a beloved community of teachers, friends, caring adults and relentless advocates.  Most of our new youth focus areas seek to connect young people to liberating spaces and people.  The Maddox Fund will support direct serves to young people ages 5-25.  We will also support systems change work that is creating the conditions for youth to thrive through advocacy and grassroots organizing.

The Maddox Fund will prioritize partners working with BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and immigrant & undocumented youth knowing that our current systems continue to oppress these populations.

Lifting Youth Voice

Maddox believes that including young people in our process is essential if we want to make an impact on their lives. Not only do we support organizations and programs that actively engage young people in advocacy, we also seek their insights in our own practices.  In 2021, we piloted our first participatory grantmaking initiative, the Youth Philanthropic Advisory Board which engaged Antioch high school students and charged them with allocating $100,000 to area nonprofits.   Our future plans to strengthen youth participation include:

  • 2022 – Philanthropy Fellowship with HBCU students
  • 2023 – Second Philanthropy Fellowship with HBCUs and a participatory grantmaking process with LGBTQ+ students

Youth Interest Areas

Out-of-School Learning

Out-of-school learning opportunities are important for student thriving. Funding will prioritize afterschool and summer learning, literacy programs, tutoring and academic supports.

Post-Secondary Access

In the past, Maddox has supported post-secondary programs tied to traditional 4-year institutions. Going forward, we will look at funding programs that increase access to community college programs, professional certifications, and vocational/technical training for young people as well as access to traditional university and college programs with a focus on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Diversifying Education Leadership

Maddox supports programs that prepare leaders for the sacred work of raising our youth in safe and welcoming learning environments. This includes teacher certification programs, teacher retention programs, and ongoing learning for youth workers. We will continue to prioritize organizations that support education leaders that identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

Youth and Education Advocacy

The education landscape is constantly changing. We know that to make meaningful change we must do so at the systems level. To that end, Maddox will fund organizations advocating for more equitable opportunities for young people and students in Middle Tennessee. We also recognize that the voices of young people have often been historically disregarded, despite being experts regarding their lived reality. We are interested in funding programs that lift the voices of young people and advance our youth and education priorities. These include but are not limited to funding for youth organizing training and for youth-led movements focused on climate change, environmental justice, advocacy for undocumented and immigrant youth and digital literacy.

Apply for a Grant

In our commitment to justice and liberation, Maddox grantmaking has changed.  These changes include new funding processes and a a new set of priorities for reviewing grant applications.

Equity Resources

We have collected equity resources related to historical and systemic inequities, nonprofit operations, and the environment.  We are committed to learning and always welcome any suggestions.

Featured Partners

To see the grants made in the last five years, check out our directory.


American Muslim Advisory Council

$9,500 for the Youth Leadership Training that focuses on engaging young Muslim youth in the community.


Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition

$30,000 to support youth organizing training around immigrant and refugee rights.

The Education Trust of Tennessee

$15,000 in 2022 to host informational workshops around the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement.