In 1950, James S. McDonnell established the McDonnell Foundation, incorporated as a private Foundation. The Foundation has pursued his goals by supporting scientific, educational, and charitable causes locally, nationally, and internationally. The organization was renamed the James S. McDonnell Foundation in 1984 in honor of its founder. In 2007 the Foundation awarded approximately $19.5 million in grants. Since its inception, the McDonnell Foundation has awarded over $347 million in grants. Fair market value of Foundation assets were about $609 million in 2007.
The Foundation does not publish an annual report.