Child Welfare Foundation


In 1952, Department Commander Dr. Garland D. Murphy, Jr. of Arkansas, came to The American Legion with an offer to provide a valuable contribution if we could figure out some way his gift could be used solely for children. After much study and discussion, the idea of a foundation was adopted. Later that year, the National Executive Committee appointed a special committee to determine the feasibility of establishing such a proposed foundation.

Eventually, on October 15, 1953, the National Executive Committee approved the establishment of the Foundation and entered into a trust agreement with Dr. Murphy. Legal work was completed, and on July 9, 1954, the Foundation was duly incorporated under the laws of the State of Indiana. At that time, Dr. Murphy assigned to the Foundation deeds to fractional mineral rights on nearly 10,000 acres of land in the oil-rich Williston Basin in Montana and North Dakota.

In 1955, it gave its first three grants totaling $22,500 to three organizations. The Delinquency Control Institute, the National Association for Retarded Children, and the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness were the first three beneficiaries.

To date, over $6 million has been awarded to organizations to assist the children of this country from the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation, Inc.

Areas of Interest

The Child Welfare Foundation accepts proposals from nonprofit organizations for projects which meet one of the Foundation’s two basic purposes:

  1. To contribute to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual welfare of children through the dissemination of knowledge about new and innovative organizations and/or their programs designed to benefit youth; and
  2. To contribute to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual welfare of children through the dissemination of knowledge already possessed by well-established organizations, to the end that such information can be more adequately used by society.

Application Procedures

  • Any nonprofit organization may contact the Executive Secretary of the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation, Inc., and request in writing a copy of our application.
  • Applications are mailed to requesting organizations only from April 1 through July 1, inclusive of the current year. Requests received after July 1 will be held for the next grant year
  • Application submissions should be limited to the pre-printed form.
  • Project outline should include direct impact on children and specific benefits of project.
  • Budget figures are required for the project only.
  • References should be individuals with a working knowledge of project and capable of answering questions concerning grant application.
  • The Executive Secretary reviews all grant proposals. Those that meet the criteria for consideration proceed to members of the Board of Directors.
  • Each year in mid-October, the Board of Directors meets to consider grant requests.
  • Personal appearances before the Board of Directors for the purpose of promotion and/or clarifying a grant by the grant applicant or associates are prohibited.
  • All grant seekers will receive written notification of decisions.

For more information visit

Child Welfare Foundation Brochure (PDF)
Child Welfare Foundation Awards (PDF)