Profiles of GIA Members

Cooper Industries Foundation

Published in: GIA Newsletter, Vol 9, No 2 (Fall 1998)

Carolyn Evans

Cooper Industries is a leading manufacturer of electrical products, tools, hardware, and automotive products. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Cooper employs over 41,000 people on six continents.

The Cooper Industries Foundation was incorporated in 1964 and absorbed the Crouse-Hinds Foundation in 1982 and the McGraw Edison Foundation in 1985. Each year the Foundation awards nearly $4 million in contributions, grants, and matching gifts to health and human service, arts, educational, environmental, and safety organizations. The Foundation supports nonprofit organizations in communities where Cooper has plant facilities and concentrations of employees.

In fiscal year 1997, the arts received twelve percent of the Foundation's contributions, or $461,000. Jennifer Evans, manager of corporate giving programs, reports that employees in local jurisdictions have discretion on contributions up to $1,000. Funding requests above that level are sent to the headquarters office with the endorsement of local employees. Cooper's fields of interest in the arts are museums, performing arts, and other cultural programs. Of the fifty-five arts organizations that received grants of $1,000 or more in 1997, sixteen are located in Cooper's headquarters city, Houston, and the remainder are located in cities throughout the midwest, south, west, and east coast regions of the United States.

Art grants range in size from $1,000 to $55,000. A list of 1997 arts grantees includes the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, $55,000; the Houston Symphony, $40,000; The Alley Theatre, Houston, $30,000; The Automotive Hall of Fame (Midland, Michigan) $25,000; Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, $20,000; United Performing Arts Fund (Milwaukee) $15,000; Columbia Museum of Art (Columbia, South Carolina); St. Louis Symphony, $4,000; Public Broadcasting Foundation of Northwest Ohio (Toledo) $3,800; and the Greater Louisville, Kentucky Fund for the Arts, $1,000.

Carolyn Evans, Marin Community Foundation