In 1998, Rohm and Haas Company launched a special grant-making program called the Community Partnership Initiative (CPI). Today, that program, now called DowGives, grants funds in communities throughout the United States, including Knoxville, where Dow has a presence.
The DowGives program is managed by the Knoxville Plant Community Advisory Panel (CAP). The CAP is an open forum for community representatives and the local Dow facility to discuss the goals, activities and concerns of both the local plant and the surrounding community.
The CAP is responsible for identifying a focus for the grant, requesting proposals, evaluating grant applications and, ultimately, awarding the grant to the winning non-profit organization. To determine the focus for DowGives in our community, the CAP recently polled community leaders to identify the most pressing local need. The response from local leaders was clear: community land use projects that involve: beautification, greenways, parks, neighborhood cleanup, neighborhood involvement and community pride, historical preservation and environmental improvement.
The target communities for the DowGives grant are programs or projects located within a three-mile radius of the Dow Knoxville operations which includes the communities of Fort Sanders, Lonsdale, Mechanicsville and West View.
For more information, please go to:
Past DowGives Winners: Profiles of grants awarded in our community.
Apply for DowGives: Details on the criteria and timetable used to evaluate your application. This section also includes a link to download a blank copy of the grant application form in Word as well as instructions for submitting your completed application.
The following will give you some perspective of the types of programs we have funded in the communities of Fort Sanders, Lonsdale, Mechanicsville and West View since the Community Grant program (formerly called Community Partnership Initiative or CPI) was launched in 1998.
The Pond Gap Elementary School Community Garden has evolved into a thriving Food Forest - a living oasis serving as an access point for the public to explore edible woodland ecosystems, and has grown a vigorous plant based healthy cooking education program for students, utilizing organic Food Forest produce. To fully realize our mission of expanding health awareness to the community, PGES will construct a dedicated space, the Community Outdoor Classroom, from the DOW $25,500 Grant to link the community to the existing Food Forest and educate on the ease of integrating fresh produce into daily cooking and eating routines. This space will double as a venue for a Farm Stand to distribute harvested produce to the community. Students at the school will learn to use produce scales to weight and measure the harvested food and help with the distribution of the produce to family and community members from the Farm Stand. With the addition of permanent signage that will outline the garden to table process, the DOW Gives Grant will bring this project to a brand new tier of excellence and forward acting food justice.
The YWCA’s Community Garden Sustainability Project will enhance long-term success at the YWCA Phyllis Wheatley Community Center Planting Seeds of Hope Community Garden. As a trusted part of the East Knoxville community, the Phyllis Wheatley Community Center serves thousands of community members each month. This project will increase the garden’s long-term sustainability, independence, and effectiveness, adding a greenhouse and galvanized tub gardens for children to grow plants of their choice. Enhancements to the Center’s front garden beds to include seasonal, nutritious vegetables and herbs will increase crop yield, offer free and easy access for community members, and ensure accessibility of healthy, nutrient rich vegetables for East Knoxville residents. An outdoor cooking space will increase the function and use of the outdoor space for cooking classes and community events.
The Knoxville Museum of Art will use the $25,000 DOW grant to restore the KMA’s landmark South Garden to its original planted condition. This important urban green space overlooking World’s Fair Park enriches the aesthetic experience of 60,000+ museum visitors annually (museum admission and hence admission to the garden is FREE). DOW funding will be used to remove diseased trees and overgrown plantings; prune and shape trees; conduct soil testing; create a planting plan; and purchase and install new plant materials in the existing beds. Plants will be chosen for their scent, appearance, and durability, and, in keeping with the museum’s mission to celebrate East Tennessee traditions, will be indigenous to the region. The South Garden is the last portion of the museum’s campus to be renovated and upgraded. Thanks to DOW’s support, the South Garden will now match the high aesthetic standards of the rest of the museum campus--designed by internationally renowned modernist architect Edward Larrabee Barnes and opened to the public in 1990--and continue to serve as a place of quiet, shady refuge, open to all.
The Mabry-Hazen House Museum, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is located atop Mabry's Hill in Knoxville, Tennessee. Built in 1858 and housing three generations of the same family from 1858-1987, the Mabry-Hazen House served as headquarters for both Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War. This stately, elegant home of the Victorian and Civil War periods showcases one of the largest original family collection in America. A $30,000 DowGives Community Grant awarded to the Mabry-Hazen House will be used to enhance the overall visitor experience.
These improvements will help the Foundation to increase its financial sustainability through increased facility rentals, additional memberships, and increased community use.
Ijams will invest $30,000 from the Dow Gives Grant to serve an increasing number of visitors by completing educational and self-directed learning/outdoor experience and infrastructure improvements to achieve the following goals:
Dogwood Arts Festival beautification project for the Lonsdale, Mechanicsville, Ft Sanders and West View neighborhoods is a special project under its currently established Bazillion Blooms program.
The Grant money was used to purchase, promote and distribute 1,100 dogwood trees in the above designated neighborhoods. Flyers/posters were placed at local churches, schools and community organizations as well as the distribution of direct mail to all residents in the targeted neighborhoods providing program details. Residents were asked to contact the office to sign up for a tree(s) on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each residence will be allotted up to three dogwood trees for planting. On December 7th, the participating residents gathered at Knoxville College to pick-up their tree(s) and learn the correct procedures for planting and maintenance.
Additionally, Dogwood Arts will partner with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of East TN to plant a percentage of the dogwood trees provided through this project in the neighborhood parks and recreational areas. This will maximize community exposure while providing the local scouts with learning and badge opportunities.
This effort will build community pride and will lead to a positive impact on their property. The increase of planting of April-blooming, disease-resistant Dogwood trees in the Fall will help to preserve and enhance the natural beauty of the above regions. Also, it will help to restore the Dogwood tree population to its former vitality.
The Outdoor Classroom Project: South Doyle Middle School has a large, beautiful campus bordered by Baker Creek. Through a partnership of Wildlife Habitats of South Woodlawn, South Doyle Middle School and Legacy Parks the grant funds will be used to build an amphitheater overlooking Baker Creek and a “labitat” stream ecology education area for student and community use. Baker Creek’s historic and environmental value will be preserved and used as an educational resource and the amphitheater will provide a flexible space that can be used by the school and community for years into the future.
A $30,000 DowGives Community Grant awarded to the Knoxville Zoo will start a program designed to teach students about science and pollination. Zoo officials will train students to be "citizen scientists" at new pollination gardens at five urban schools. The gardens will be stocked with native plants to attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinating insects. From there, zoo officials will teach students to collect data on the life cycle of plants and insects in the gardens. Once compiled locally, students will then submit the information to a nationwide study. Dow Chemical's Knoxville site leader called the project a "natural fit" for the organization, given their commitment to preparing the next generation of scientific innovators.
In June 2001, a group of interested Knoxvillians formed a not-for-profit corporation for the purpose of creating a botanical garden and arboretum on the 44-acre site of a 200+ year old nursery property in East Knoxville. Surrounded by an urban community, the site is located on the former property of these two historic nurseries. The Howell family's nursery business was originally established in 1786 and the gardens represent a significant cultural landscape in Knoxville's history. The grounds feature distinctive stone walls and buildings constructed by Joe Howell's employees. Over 20,000 people visit the garden each year. The grant was used to enhance the visitor center complex with signage and facility improvements. Signage will improve visibility for all guests along the highly visible entry points to the garden.
Through community gardening and nutrition education, Beardsley Farm engages and supports economically disadvantaged residents in the Mechanicsville, Lonsdale and Beaumont communities. In addition, the farm supplies several local organizations and food banks with free, fresh produce to support their clients. A farm expansion project that included building an additional five large vegetable beds, five blackberry/blueberry beds, and planting 30 fruit trees was proposed to assist another local food pantry – Food in the Fort – in Fort Sanders. Food in the Fort fed 80 families per week and 20% of its clients were homeless with multiple needs. Due to lack of adequate funding, the food pantry was forced to cease operations. Beardsley Farm offered to fill the void temporarily. This project was selected so that Beardsley Farm could permanently support the Fort Sanders community with fresh produce.
Ijams Nature Center was honored to receive an additional $5,000 towards ongoing improvements at Mead's Quarry. Funds were used to:
Built in 1792 and located in downtown Knoxville, Blount Mansion served as the residence of William Blount, Governor of the Southwest Territory. This National Historic Landmark is known as the birthplace of Tennessee's statehood as William Blount wrote the state constitution in his office just behind the mansion. An interior and exterior painting renovation project was needed to protect the structure against the threat of excessive moisture and deterioration. This project was chosen to preserve a significant historic downtown landmark and so that the Blount Mansion Association could continue to provide educational programming and tours to school-aged children, citizens, and tourists for many years to come. The paints that were used for this project have The Dow Chemical Company additives in them.
Funds were used to launch the Malcolm Martin Park Beautification Project in collaboration with the Beardsley Community Farm. With this project, the park & farm will be able to engage, educate and empower a greater number of people in the community. A butterfly garden was created as part of the grant money. This project was chosen because of its continuous commitment to the community and the local impact it has in the community.
Old North Knoxville, Inc. (ONK) was incorporated in 1979. The original purpose of the non-profit organization was to stop deterioration of the varied and significant architecture of the area and to improve the quality of life in the inner city neighborhood to address the socioeconomic issues affecting the community. Neighborhood parks are an essential part of the long term health of inner city neighborhoods. The grant was used to create a park that took 2 overgrown abandoned lots and put them back into productive use for residents of all ages by providing a pleasant, safe place for neighborhood children. Items found in the park are gazebos, walkways, play sets, benches, horseshoe pit, and many various plants along with edgings around the park.
The grant was used to renovate the Fort Dickerson Park, which is the only earthen fort & battery position surrounding Knoxville built by the Federal army during the Civil War that is open to the public as an educational military park. The Fort Dickerson entrance and view shed corridor restoration project will improve pedestrian accessibility to the earthen fort as well as upgrade the view shed corridor of Knoxville.
Dedicated in April of 2005, this park is at the heart of the Fort Sanders neighborhood that James Agee memorialized in his Pulitzer Prize winning novel, "A Death in the Family." The beautiful park honors one of Knoxville's favorite sons and one of the world's greatest writers. Since receiving the grant, they have celebrated its grand opening and received ongoing and significant support from other donors and volunteers.
The Old Mechanicsville Neighborhood Interest (OMNI) was formally organized in 1988 to promote the revitalization of the Old Mechanicsville community and adjoining communities. The group seeks to promote community-wide awareness of the issues facing area residents and businesses. They also seek ways to make more opportunities available to residents and groups to own and operate business enterprises in economically depressed areas. The grant of only $10,000 in lieu of the $30,000 normally given was used to make an underutilized land in the community more beautiful by having the area architecturally designed to include benches, trellis, anchored chairs, shelter, lighting, park sign, and many trees, shrubs and evergreens. This beautiful oasis for Mechanicsville and all the business neighbors provides use and enjoyment for years to come.
Established in 1987, The West View Community Action Group strives to create and preserve a community that is safe, clean and livable. The group works in the areas of land use, schools, economic development and transportation. In 2001, the West View Elementary School playground was closed and torn down for safety reasons. Due to this lack of recreational areas the children stayed inside. The grant ensured the rebuilding of the playground area and the implementation of new educational programs such as Primary Learning Back to Basic, which focuses on helping children build self-esteem and self-confidence. In addition, the school now has the opportunity to expand a small garden program on campus to start an outreach program with the local community.
With a mission to develop and maintain the park as a wildlife sanctuary, Ijams seeks to increase knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the natural world by providing quality environmental educational programs and nature-related experiences for all people. Ijams used the grant for various projects, beginning with cleaning up Mead's Quarry in December 2001 when they received the first CPI grant. In subsequent years, restoration projects included clean-ups, parking lot and entrance construction, trails and a wildlife habitat.
Thank you for your organization’s interest in applying for the $24,000 DowGives Community Grant!
The Dow Chemical Company has recently changed the application submission process.
Please be sure to carefully read the overview of the grant program and directions before completing your application below.
Dow’s goal, using the DowGives grants, is to enhance the aesthetic qualities of our fenceline neighborhoods and positively impact the overall quality of life in the Knoxville community by providing a grant of $24,000 to the non-profit organization best able to advance its focus on community land use projects.
Dow will accept only one application per organization. If an organization applies for more than one grant, regardless of grant amount, the organization will be disqualified for consideration for all grants for which it has applied. This is because the Dow Gives Grant Program is intended to maximize the distribution of funding from Dow to the areas in which it provides the highest value to communities. Each submitting organization, therefore, is asked to prioritize its projects and submit only one application per year for the program that provides the greatest impact and meets the greatest need.
No, grant winners must wait 3 years after the year of winning the first grant before being eligible to apply again for the grant.
Not at this time. When you secure the remaining funds required, you may apply for consideration in the Dow Gives Grants Program. This helps ensure that the funding provided through this program will be utilized as outlined in the project proposal and the funds go to community groups that have researched their project and already secured other community support as required.
No. The Dow Chemical Company Foundation guidelines do not allow for the funding of projects related to transportation.
All DowGives Grant projects must be completed within 1 year of the date of the Grant Decision which is listed below for each year winner. If the project cannot be completed within this time frame, a discussion with Dow representatives must be conducted to determine next steps, which may include a requirement for the organization to re-pay the grant funding as well, Organizations with unfinished grant projects are not eligible for further Dow funding until the project is complete.
Your organization can apply for a maximum of $24,000.
A selection committee comprised of community members from representatives of the Knoxville Community Advisory Panel will review the applications and provide scores based on how well the project meets the grant program criteria. They will then meet to discuss and select the successful project(s). Site visits of the project may be included in the grant process. Scoring process is attached. This scoring process is only one part in the selection process.
Print off a copy of the entire grant application to ensure that you have all of the required documents and information needed to complete the application.
Grant closed for 2019