The Chrest Foundation is a private foundation based in Irving, Texas in the United States. The Foundation was established by Jeff Jensen and Lou Anne King Jensen in 1999 to share with others some of the financial resources they had been fortunate enough to receive through health insurance, telecommunications, and other family related business investments. The name Chrest was chosen as the name of the Foundation due to its general meaning of goodwill. The Foundation works on the principle of goodwill and friendship in its relations with the international community.
The Chrest Foundation continues a tradition of philanthropy and giving that began with the founders' parents. The Jensen family has been engaged in philanthropy for many years in the United States, focusing their endeavors on underprivileged children, social entrepreneurs, college scholarships, diabetes research, and others. A total of six additional foundations and trusts currently operate in these fields in the United States.
Building on this tradition, the Chrest Foundations founders decided to add an international dimension to their grantmaking. The decision to concentrate the Foundations resources on Turkey was the result of previous travel to the Mediterranean area, including Turkey, for family holidays as well as an international conference related to social initiatives.
The Jensen approach is grounded in the philosophy that communities know best; therefore, much of the Chrest Foundations giving in Turkey has been directed towards local, underserved areas. To ensure its grantmaking is in line with community priorities, representatives of the Chrest Foundation actively communicate with a range of civil society organizations, members of academic and business communities, officials from the Turkish Government and local municipalities, and others.
The Chrest Foundation is currently in the process of updating its programmatic areas, strategy, giving guidelines, and website, due to growth in its endowment. The Foundation will continue to support civil society organizations in Turkey that concentrate on increasing gender equality and fostering communication and dialogue through arts and culture. The Foundation is also developing US-based giving programs in the areas of criminal justice reform and the environment. Please check back over the next few months for updates.
The Foundation is a member of Exponent Philanthropy and Philanthropy Southwest.