About Us

The Ryan Foundation was founded by Helen McKee Ryan and her son, John P. Ryan in 1983. Helen Ryan was the widow of Thomas M. Ryan, a prominent businessman in Fort Worth. The Ryan family owned several businesses including Waples Platter Company, Ranch Style, Inc., White Swan Foods, Ryan Mortgage Company, and First Life Insurance Company. John P. Ryan served as President and CEO for most of these companies at one time or another.

The Foundation received its initial funding from the Estate of Helen Ryan upon her death in 1983. The Foundation received additional funding from John Ryan during his lifetime and from his Estate upon his death in 2003. The name of the Foundation was changed to The Thomas M., Helen McKee & John P. Ryan Foundation, Inc. to adequately reflect all the names of the significant donors to the Foundation.

The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors with 5 members all from Fort Worth. The mission of the Foundation is to support a wide variety of public charities in the State of Texas, with an emphasis on Tarrant County and Fort Worth as this is the lifelong home of the donors of the Foundation. Areas of interest include health care, human and social services, education, children services, and the arts. We do not make any grants to individuals.

As of December 31, 2016, the total assets of the foundation are approximately $115,000,000.00. Since the inception of the Foundation, we have made grants of $55,000,000 to local charities. Our grants range in size from $5,000 to $500,000. The median or typical size grant is around $ 25,000. 

The Foundation has Guidelines for Grants which detail all the items we require with a grant request proposal.

Our Foundation Board meets 4 times a year in March, June, September and December to consider grant request proposals. Our deadline for submitting a written application is the 1st day of the month preceding the Board Meeting. All grant requests will receive a formal written response specifying the action taken by the Board.