Mount Rest Fund

Mount Rest Fund Video

In 1894, Mount Rest Home was started by a group of forward-thinking women, at their own expense, as a residence for elderly ladies in Knoxville who had very little funds or family to care for them. The devoted women of the board of Mount Rest Home cooked and sold lunches at Thanksgiving to raise funds to support the home, and they tended to every need of the house and the ladies who lived there.

Although the lovely home eventually closed, many of the daughters and granddaughters of the original board members have continued to provide for the welfare of women and children in Knox County. They established the Mount Rest Foundation in 1994 and then the Mount Rest Fund of East Tennessee Foundation in 2004 to continue and secure their families’ legacy of caring for Knox County’s women and children.

Application Process

The application process has closed. As of summer 2019, details about the next application process and grant cycle have not yet been determined. Please continue to check back with ETF.
Please note: There was no Letter of Intent required prior to submitting an application for the 2019 grant cycle.

Grant Terms and Amounts

Grants were awarded in May 2019 for two-year terms and generally ranged from $5,000 - $20,000.

Application Information

Who May Apply

General Eligibility and Funding Criteria

Additional eligibility criteria specific to Mount Rest Fund:

  • Applicant organization must serve women and/or children in Knoxville or Knox County
  • Under special circumstances, grants will be made to institutions outside Knox County for programs that are operated within or provide direct benefit to residents of the county
  • Schools and churches are ineligible for funding

Areas of Focus

East Tennessee Foundation is taking a stand against the influx of hateful words, actions, and behaviors in our region. Unfortunately, these issues are not isolated to other parts of the country - they occur in our own backyards.

In addition to launching its “Hope in Action” Fund in 2019 to confront discrimination and hate in our region, ETF is modifying the focus of Mount Rest Fund grantmaking. In 2019, grant funds were awarded to nonprofit organizations whose projects protect and empower Knox County women and children who currently are OR are most at risk of becoming victims of discrimination and hate.

True to its mission, Mount Rest Fund's scope is to support women and/or children in Knox County. 

Example Mount Rest Fund projects/programs may include those that:

  • Help immigrant women and children integrate into the Knoxville community
  • Provide educational opportunities for those discriminated against, including those affected by poverty
  • Bring together women and/or children of different faiths and cultures
  • Provide self-defense and safety classes for women and/or children
  • Address causes and devastating impacts of bullying (including cyber-bullying) on youth
  • Provide literacy opportunities for women and/or children who have been educationally underserved and/or possess untreated learning disabilities
  • Provide support for victims of domestic violence
  • Provide support for women/youth who are victims of sexism and/or experiencing sexual orientation and gender identity issues
  • Provide educational opportunities and support for victims of human/sex trafficking
  • Provide services and support for elderly women who are victims of age discrimination, elder abuse, and/or struggle with decreased mobility and mental clarity

If you are unsure about whether your proposed project/program qualifies for funding consideration, please contact either Jan Elston, Vice President for Competitive Grant Programs at or Ashley Siferd, Program Officer at

How to Apply

Additional Information

Please direct your questions to:
Jan Elston
Vice President for Competitive Grant Programs
East Tennessee Foundation
520 W. Summit Hill Drive, Suite 1101
Knoxville, TN 37902
Telephone: (865) 524-1223 or toll-free (877) 524-1223

Thank you for your interest in the Mount Rest Fund!