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Funding Priorities


Scope and Contents

From the Collection: The James C. Penney Foundation Records consist of materials dealing with both the administration and grant-making efforts of the organization. While the records contain information about the organization’s entire history, the bulk of the information focuses on the organization after 1980. The collection is divided into five series: Board of Directors Records, Administration Records, Grant Records, Photographs, and Audio-Visual Materials.

Board of Directors Records, 1954-1999, include the materials of the decision-making branch of the organization. The board was responsible for decisions regarding the direction the organization would take in terms of grant-making policies and funding areas. The information in these records includes board minutes, member correspondence, committee files, and records dealing with the grant discussions. The minutes are the best and most complete source of information about the history of the foundation. They are complete from 1954-1998 with the exception of the years 1959-1960. Until the 1970s most of the grant lists are not included in the minutes and are located in the 990 PF tax forms. After 1980 the minutes include meeting attachments and dockets containing information gathered for discussion about grant requests.

The committee information includes correspondence, minutes, and reports from the various foundation committees. These records deal with the decision to close the foundation and provide significant documentation about the issues faced by family foundations.

Grant discussions about funding priorities are another important part of this series. Over time the board, composed of Penney family members, differed on priority funding areas. The board hired several consultants and conducted a variety of studies to determine the priorities of the foundation. These records deal with these discussions and include consultant correspondence, study reports, the funding decisions, and ultimate decision to create two separate foundations.

Administrative Records, 1929-1999, consist of records that deal with the internal operations of the organization mainly during Anne Romasco’s tenure as Executive Director of the foundation. These records include financial records (1954-1998) and annual reports (1980-1998) that discuss broadly the giving trends of the foundation and the tax forms that contain grant listings throughout the foundation’s history.

The information in the series prior to the foundation’s creation in 1954 includes documents related to Penney’s first foundation, the J.C. Penney Foundation, and a series of pamphlets and speeches written by James C. Penney describing his personal philosophies and family life. Also included in this series is a three-volume collection of CDs that contains interviews and speeches given by Penney.

Grant Records, 1976-1999, contain records of the grants made by the James C. Penney Foundation after 1980. These files comprise the bulk of the organization’s records and help trace the funding interests of the foundation. Included with the grant files are correspondence, grant proposals, site visit reports, and periodic grantee reports to the foundation board.


  • 1954 - 1999

Language of Materials

From the Collection: Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public without restriction.


From the Collection: 41.8 Cubic Feet (41 cartons, 2 document cases, 2 video cassettes, 7 audio cassettes, 3 CDs)


Repository Details

Part of the Philanthropic Studies Archives Repository

IUPUI University Library
755 W. Michigan St.
Room 0133
Indianapolis IN 46202 USA