The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation seeks to strengthen, promote, and defend the centrality of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse, fair, and democratic societies. To this end, our core programs support exemplary and inspiring institutions of higher education and culture. The Foundation makes grants in four core program areas: Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities; Arts and Cultural Heritage; Scholarly Communications; and International Higher Education and Strategic Projects.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation under the laws of the State of New York, was formed on June 30, 1969, through the consolidation of two existing foundations—the Avalon Foundation and the Old Dominion Foundation. The Avalon Foundation had been established in 1940 by Ailsa Mellon Bruce, daughter of Andrew W. Mellon. The Old Dominion Foundation had been established in 1941 by Paul Mellon, son of Andrew W. Mellon. When the two foundations were consolidated, the Foundation adopted the name The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to honor their father. At the end of 1969, the assets of the Foundation totaled $273 million. By the end of 2017, the total endowment was approximately $6.8 billion; annual grantmaking came to approximately $302 million.