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Priority Areas

The McKenzie Foundation seeks to meet the needs of people in the greater Chattanooga area by supporting the work and ideas of area nonprofits. Since its inception in 2004, the Foundation has partnered with various organizations to increase the success and well-being of Chattanooga’s residents. We strive to do this by providing funding for organizations that focus on education, social service, and arts and culture. Although these are our primary areas of focus, we do consider other projects on a case by case basis.


In order for a community to thrive, its citizens must prioritize the success of future generations. The McKenzie Foundation appreciates the importance of the public school system in equipping young people with the skills, relationships and experiences needed to succeed in their careers, communities and lives. The Foundation seeks to fund organizations that strive to improve students’ experiences within the Hamilton County public school system. This may range from providing training and resources for teachers, to implementing after school programs for students in disadvantaged populations.

Within the priority area of education, we focus on:

  • Working with partners in education to transform the public school system.
  • Providing safe and constructive activities for students to participate in.
  • Increasing student achievement so all students succeed in learning and in life.

Social Service

The well-being of a community is directly affected by the health and wellness of its residents. One of our goals at the McKenzie Foundation is to fund organizations in such a way that enables them to equip themselves with the resources needed to meet the emotional and physical needs of the greater Chattanooga community. This may include a variety of services, such as job training or providing physical goods to those who need them.

Within the priority area of social service, we focus on:

  • Offering the opportunity for community members to acquire skills needed to be independent, contributing members of society.
  • Providing emotional and physical help to members of the community who are in need.
  • Creating partnerships and finding resources to provide help for those who need it.