Grayson Foundation Grants

Grayson Foundation

The Grayson Foundation is a private foundation that is committed to improving the quality of life in Shreveport-Bossier. The Grayson Foundation accepts grant applications once annually. Applications are submitted through the Community Foundation grant portal.

Changes to The Grayson Foundation grant cycle are underway. Application information coming soon. 

About Sam Grayson

Samuel Boatner Grayson, known as Sam, was born in Shreveport on October 17, 1925, the son of Charles Boatner Grayson and Velma Davis Grayson. Sam is a C.E. Byrd High School graduate. Sam attended Stanford University in Pal0 Alto, California, before returning home to finish his education by earning a degree in social science from Centenary in 1949. After graduating, Sam funded scholarships for Centenary students and established the Velma Davis Grayson Eminent Scholars Endowed Chair of Chemistry at the College, in honor of his mother.

Sam was named vice president and general manger of Chain Battery & Automotive in 1949, and along with his mother, company president Velma Grayson, he built an enormously successful and ever-expanding enterprise serving parts of Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. In January 1950, the Graysons created a subsidiary company in central Louisiana, Chain Battery of Alexandria, and in March 1954 opened an impressive new plant in Shreveport on Spring Street between Caddo and Fannin. The official publication of the Louisiana Motor Transportation Associate, the LMTA News, described Chain Battery & Automotive’s new home as “one of the most modern structures of its kind in the South,” especially highlighting the drive-in parts department which was considered very innovative at the time.

In addition to leading Chain Battery companies in Shreveport, Monroe, Alexandria, and Bossier City and Magneto Sales & Service, Inc. in Longview and Kilgore, Texas, the c. 1970 resume lists Sam as president of the Grayson Investment Company (a real estate company), president of the Grayson Company of Louisiana in Shreveport and the Grayson Company of Texas in Dallas, a partner in the G&Q Realty Company, and a partner in the operation of Grayson Sunflower Farm & Pecan Growers. There was, therefore, plenty to keep him busy when the auto parts portfolio of Chain Battery & Automotive Supply was sold in 1973.


About the Foundation

A significant portion of the proceeds from the 1973 Chain Battery & Automotive sale was utilized to create the Grayson Foundation, which was officially incorporated as a non-profit corporation on August 15, 1973.

Grayson Foundation resources have helped Shreveport-Bossier City citizens tackle some of the persistent challenges and historical inequities present in our educational, social, and economic systems; have given local organizations the resources necessary to assist individuals struggling with homelessness, hunger, addiction, and mental and physical disabilities; and have supported many of the common experiences that make our community a more beautiful, creative, and joyful place – the performing arts, the Red River Revel, and the Sci-Port Discovery Center. The Foundation has also taken a particular interest in early childhood and K-12 education, supporting initiatives such as Step Forward and the Volunteers of America of North Louisiana’s LightHouse and Communities In Schools programs.


Making a Difference

Sam Grayson’s death in 2004 brought his entire estate into the Grayson Foundation, instantly transforming it into one of the largest private foundations in Northwest Louisiana. Today, the Grayson Foundation endures as a dynamic living legacy for the Grayson family in the place they called home.