Carolyn Smith Foundation logo

Root. Grow. Flourish.

Areas of Focus

The Carolyn Smith Foundation’s philanthropic strategy is broad and aims to positively impact as many lives as possible. Our reach is global, but we are especially passionate about our local community of Middle Tennessee. Our board determines current areas of prioritized focus for which we are assessing new grants.

We support organizations in the following areas of focus: 

  • Addressing homelessness and food insecurity through innovative ideas that work to break the cycle of poverty in Middle TN.
  • Dementia and neurodegeneration in children and adults

Inclusion Criteria

  • 501(c)(3) organization
  • Serving Middle Tennessee
  • In operation for at least two years

Exclusion Criteria

  • Individuals
  • Political candidates or parties
  • Religious organizations seeking funding for a religious purpose
  • Organizations that unlawfully discriminate or are hostile to individuals based on age, religion, gender, ethnicity, or orientation
food donations

Homelessness / Food Insecurity

Sadie Photo, girl with childhood dementia

Dementia and Neurodegeneration

About The Carolyn Smith Foundation

The Carolyn Smith Foundation was founded in 2016 to celebrate the life of Carolyn Smith. She and her husband, Randy started Smith Travel Research (STR), the leader in hospitality data analytics, in Hendersonville, Tennessee in 1985. 

Carolyn is remembered for her strategic mind and strong drive for excellence that was equally matched by her kindness and compassion for those around her. She achieved a great deal in her lifetime, all of which was motivated by a burning desire to make this world a better place for all. The Board of the Carolyn Smith Foundation shares that desire and aims to invest in organizations that better communities locally, nationally, and globally. 

Contact Us

If you are involved with a 501(c)(3) organization that you believe fits within the mission of the Carolyn Smith Foundation, and you would like to connect, please complete this form with a brief description of your organization and/or project.


Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. We have always been enthusiastic about supporting various causes impacting our local, national, and global communities. This has not changed, but as the foundation grows, it feels necessary and worthwhile to select a few passion areas to invest in more deeply to move the needle on some issues that have touched us personally OR are significant challenges that plague our community. Please see the Priority Areas of Focus section on our website to learn more.

We do not have a formal grant application process. If you have reviewed our Funding Priorities and Exclusions and believe your organization is a fit, please utilize this inquiry form to tell us more about your work. Based on this information, our board will determine if they want to learn more. We aim to review these forms every 4-6 weeks and will respond as soon as possible.

We realize there are many worthy causes we do not currently fund, and we welcome the opportunity to learn about new organizations through the inquiry form; however, we focus on making strategic investments in our two Priority Areas of Focus.

We have one funding cycle per year in December. The remainder of the year is spent meeting with and learning from current and prospective partners. 

Generally, we provide grants for unrestricted support. Occasionally, we provide one-time grants for special projects or capital expenditures.