The Flinn Foundation is a privately endowed, philanthropic grantmaking organization established in 1965 by Dr. Robert S. and Irene P. Flinn. Its mission is to improve the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations.
To achieve this mission, the Foundation aims to: advance Arizona’s bioscience sector; enhance undergraduate education for high-achieving students at the state’s public universities; elevate the fiscal and creative capacity of the state’s arts and culture organizations; and strengthen civic life and state-level civic leadership in Arizona.
Grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations to advance interests in the biosciences, Flinn Scholars, and arts and culture. In civic leadership, the Foundation supports and administers the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership and its Flinn-Brown Fellowship, which receives support from the Thomas R. Brown Foundations of Tucson. These philanthropic activities intersect wherever possible, a recognition of the importance of ecosystem thinking.
Beyond grantmaking, the Foundation and its staff embrace the values of candor, trust, innovation, empathy, and fun. These values guide the work, ethics, and character of the Foundation in its mission to improve Arizona. In addition, the Foundation believes that a commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the underlying principle that every person has value and potential is critically important to our organization’s mission, internal and philanthropic practices, and interactions with the community.
The Foundation also leverages the additional capacities of a private foundation through its professional resources. These are exemplified by what’s informally known as the Flinn Foundation’s “5 C’s”—to convene interested parties, collaborate and generate partnerships among groups with mutual interests, catalyze solutions, communicate progress and outcomes, and consensus-build among stakeholders.
The Foundation often convenes leaders in workshops and educational forums at the Flinn Foundation Conference Center (currently closed for renovation) within its office building at 1802 N. Central Avenue in Phoenix. When not being used by the Foundation, these two fully-equipped meeting rooms are available at no cost to Arizona’s nonprofit organizations serving the fields of the biosciences, health care, education, arts and culture, and civic leadership. Across its operations, including the Conference Center, the Foundation is committed to continually raising its standards in environmental sustainability.
The board of directors is chaired by Eric Reiman, M.D., a psychiatrist and brain-imaging researcher by background who is chief executive officer of Banner Research and executive director of Banner Alzheimer’s Institute. The Foundation’s president and CEO is Tammy McLeod, Ph.D., a broadly accomplished executive and community leader.