| Arthur Vining Davis as painted
by Sir William Orpen in 1919
The purpose of the Foundations is to provide financial assistance, within the limits of their budgets and the discretion of their Trustees, to certain educational, cultural, scientific and religious institutions. Such aid is, by charter, granted to and expended by institutions and organizations which are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code, are not private foundations within the meaning of Section 509(a) of the 1969 Tax Reform Act, and are located within the United States and its possessions.
The Board of Trustees’ current practice is to award grants primarily in the areas of private higher education, secondary education, graduate theological education, health care and public television.
Today, two individual foundations comprise the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, and are designated respectively as Foundations No. 2 and No. 3. Created by Mr. Davis' will to receive the major share of his estate, they began operations in 1965, awarding their first grants in 1967. Organized in 1952 during the lifetime of Mr. Arthur Vining Davis, Foundation No. 1 existed for 48 years before being merged with Foundation No. 2 in 2001.
Bank of New York Mellon serves as corporate Trustee for Foundation No. 2. SunTrust Banks, Inc. serve Foundation No. 3 in a similar fiduciary capacity. The Foundations' assets are invested in a broadly diversified portfolio consisting primarily of common stocks and bonds. No single company’s securities account for more than five percent of the combined total.