F. W. Symmes Foundation

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The mission of the F.W. Symmes Foundation is to make a positive impact on the lives of Greenville County residents by making gifts to religious, charitable, scientific, literary and educational organizations, and to organizations which work for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.

Annual application deadlines

April 1 and September 1

Program areas

Arts, culture, and humanities
Environment, animals
Human services
Public/society benefit

States served

South Carolina

Geographic limitations

Greenville County, South Carolina


Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Corporate Co-trustee


  • To be eligible, organizations must qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • The programs and services of the applicant must be consistent with the Foundation’s mission and values.
  • The benefits of the grant must primarily impact Greenville County, South Carolina.
  • All applicants must have the financial ability to sustain the funded program or project on a continuing basis.
  • The Foundation does not fund to the same organization more than once every three years.
  • The Foundation gives priority to capital projects when considering applications.
  • The minimum grant request for consideration should be at least $20,000.


  • Applications must be submitted through the online grant application form or alternative accessible application designed for assistive technology users. Please keep your narrative concise and avoid repetition in your responses.
  • If available, applicants must attach a copy of their audited financial statement for the most recent complete fiscal year. If your charitable organization does not have an audited financial statement, please upload copies of your balance sheet and income statement for the last two years of operation. Please do not attach a copy of your IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Your application will not be considered without this information.


The foundation typically does not fund requests for:

  • Annual appeals or membership drives
  • Unrestricted endowment funds
  • Debt retirement
  • Grants to individuals
  • Government entities

Annual application period and deadlines

Applications are accepted year-round, but must be submitted by April 1 to be reviewed at the spring grant meeting that generally occurs in May, or by September 1 to be reviewed at the fall grant meeting that generally occurs in October.


Applicants will receive an automated email confirming their submission. Spring grant decisions are generally communicated by June, and fall grant decisions are generally communicated by November for applications received by the deadline.

Required agreements and reports

Progress reports are required for all funded projects. The progress report deadlines coincide with the grant application deadlines of 4/1 and 9/1. Progress reports must be submitted upon the sooner of project completion or within 6 months of the grant award. For ongoing projects, annual progress reports should be submitted until the project is complete. All progress reports from previous awards must be completed in order for additional applications to be considered.

It is the policy of the Foundation not to authorize public announcements regarding the details of a grant without its permission. However, the Foundation does not object to its name being included in a listing of donors as long as such list does not reference the specific amount of the grant.

About the Foundation


With a head for business and a heart for Greenville County, Mr. Fred W. Symmes spent his life building the textile industry and bettering the town he loved.

Born in Greenville, the only son with five sisters, he attended Furman University but was unable to finish due to his contracting scarlet fever. Mr. Symmes remained a bachelor, devoted to insuring the welfare of his sisters and family.

Woven together were his career pursuits and civic commitments. Between 1910 and 1950, Mr. Symmes organized and managed Nuckasee Manufacturing Co., later a subsidiary of United Merchants and Manufacturers and Piedmont Plush Mills, maker of high quality material for theater curtains and seats. Through the years he held various posts in other textile companies. His prominence in the field was matched by his community mindedness and led to positions of civic leadership such as chairman of the library board and a member of the Public Works Commission.

In 1954, three years before he died, Mr. Symmes created a plan for his sizable estate to continue benefiting Greenville County for years to come. At the suggestion of his good friends, R.E. Houston, Jr., F. Dean Rainey, W.W. McEachern and W. Gordon McCabe, he created the F.W. Symmes Foundation.

Mr. Symmes stipulated that the Foundation be operated exclusively for charitable purposes and asked that a family member remain on the three-member Board of Trustees. The Trustees were to administer these gifts at their discretion, always taking into account the financial status of the Foundation and the needs of the particular charity involved.

Of Fred W. Symmes, a friend to all of Greenville, it can truly be said: “Where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.”