Utility Menu

Our Philosophy of Grantmaking

Dear Potential Grantee of the John Templeton Foundation:

My colleagues and I are delighted that you are taking the time to get to know us. Our high aspirations can be achieved only through the vision, passion, and action of extraordinary grantees around the world. We are in the business of actively “talent scouting” for people and projects of exceptional promise in our Core Funding Areas.

We are investors, not just donors.

We seek high-potential projects likely to generate a significant return on investment, in the sense of impact relative to the resources invested. This “return” belongs to you and to the world, in the form of new discoveries and breakthroughs, new ways of looking at old problems.

We are especially interested in bold ideas that cross disciplinary boundaries to engage the Big Questions.

The division of labor and increasing specialization in most fields mean that some of the most interesting, difficult, and profound questions do not get addressed. We try to give great minds the space and resources to stretch their imaginations. We want to work with contrarians, with intellectual entrepreneurs.

We want our grantmaking process to be as rigorous, systematic, and un-bureaucratic as possible.

We have an obligation to be good stewards of the Foundation’s resources, so we work hard to ensure that we make fair and appropriate decisions. This requires detailed grant proposals and comprehensive expert review. At the same time, we have tried to design an application process that is as transparent and efficient as possible. We recognize and appreciate your “sweat equity.”

We aim to be a catalyst that transforms careers and sparks innovation.

We are fortunate to be able to assist many highly gifted people and distinguished institutions around the world. Whenever possible, we try to get involved early enough in people’s careers that we can make a big difference in their work and allow them to realize their fullest potential.

Effective philanthropy can be exciting and great fun, for both the grantmaker and grantee. We are delighted by your interest in Sir John’s goals and ambitions for the Foundation, and we look forward to working with you.


Dr. Jack Templeton
President and Chairman

Funding Timeline

We are currently accepting Online Funding Inquiries for our Core Funding Areas.

Learn more

Learn more about our

Grantmaking Process

Templeton Report