About the Foundation

The Lettie Pate Evans Foundation is an independent private foundation that invests primarily in education and arts and culture. Most grants are made to institutions in Georgia. Occasional grants are made to institutions in Virginia that were supported by Mrs. Evans during her life.

Legacy of Mrs. Evans

The Foundation’s grantmaking is inspired by the life of Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans, an extraordinary philanthropist and businesswoman. She was the wife of Joseph B. Whitehead, one of the original bottlers of Coca-Cola. When Mr. Whitehead died at an early age, Lettie Pate took over her husband’s bottling business and real estate interests, guiding both to great success. She became one of the first female directors of any major American corporation when she was appointed to the board of The Coca-Cola Company in 1934.

Mrs. Evans gave generously to many educational and cultural institutions in both Georgia and Virginia, where she made a home with her second husband Colonel Arthur Kelly Evans. At her death The Coca-Cola Company honored her thus: “Endowed with material things, she had a conviction that she held them as trustee for the poor, the meek and the unfortunate.”

Lettie Pate Evans Foundation

Mrs. Evans established the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation in 1945 and made periodic gifts to it until her death in 1953. The Foundation has awarded more than $244 million in grants since inception. Grants are generally limited to organizations located and operating in Georgia. Institutions in Virginia are considered for grants only if they received support from Mrs. Evans during her life.

The Foundation shares an office and staff with other Whitehead family philanthropies – the Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation and the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation – as well as with the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation. This arrangement came about through the friendship and business relationship between Mrs. Evans and Mr. Woodruff, longtime leader of The Coca-Cola Company. Each foundation is governed by its own board and charter. Grant proposals addressed to the Evans Foundation may also be considered by the Woodruff and Whitehead Foundations.

Our Work

The Foundation makes grants in the program areas of education and arts and culture. Education grants support health education, higher education and select independent schools, while arts and culture grants primarily support historic preservation, museums and performing arts organizations.

The Foundation typically makes grants to well-established institutions and projects with strong leadership and a broad base of support. We seek to help organizations with a proven track record of success stretch further to seize new opportunities or to meet extraordinary needs. Generally, the Foundation prefers not to be the only funder for a project, but to participate with the community in supporting initiatives led by others. The Foundation will occasionally make leading grants when the need is great and the initiative is compelling. Learn more about our grantmaking here.

Governance

The Lettie Pate Evans Foundation is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees, which sets policies and makes decisions regarding the Foundation’s operations, grantmaking, management, investments and governance.

Articles of Incorporation Provides specific purposes for the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation as a Georgia corporation and private foundation.

Bylaws Lists the rules that guide the Board of Trustees in managing the Foundation’s operations.

Statement of Principles Serves as a guide for everyday professional conduct for the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and staff.

The Foundation would like to extend a special thanks to the following for providing images for this website: Agnes Scott College, Berry College, Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, High Museum of Art and Washington & Lee University. The use of any images on this site is expressly prohibited without the written consent of the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation.