The Foundation.

The Cal Turner Family Foundation was established in 1991.  In 1994, Cal Turner, Jr. contributed 137,000 shares of Dollar General Stock to the Foundation. He continued to make periodic contributions to the Foundation in the years since it was established.

Since inception, the Foundation has made over seventy million dollars in grants to the community.  These grants have ranged in size between three hundred dollars and three million dollars.  The Foundation has supported operating expenses, capital projects, program expenses, scholarship funds and endowments. The giving of the Foundation has been built on long term relationships with non-profit leaders in the Middle Tennessee area. 

Initially, the Foundation directors were all members of the Turner family.  In 2007 the directors voted to elect a non-family member to the board.  This trend has continued and today there are three non-family board members representing the Cal Turner Family Foundation.  Having input from the family as well as non-family community leaders has enhanced the giving of the Foundation.

Cabot Pyle is the executive director of the Foundation and he has served in this position since 2002.



Our Founder.

Cal Turner, Jr. received his B.A., cum laude, from Vanderbilt University in 1962.  Following his graduation from Vanderbilt, Mr. Turner served for more than three years as an officer in the United States Navy.  In December 1965, he began his career at Dollar General, the company founded by his father and grandfather in 1939.  He succeeded his father as president in 1977 and as chairman in 1988.  At the time of his retirement in 2003, Dollar General had grown into a New York Stock Exchange retailer with more than 6,000 stores in 27 states and annual sales in excess of $6 billion.

Mr. Turner has served on the boards of a number of civic and charitable organizations, including the Easter Seal Society of Tennessee, Inc., Fisk University, the PENCIL Foundation and the YMCA of Middle Tennessee.  From 2000 – 2001 he was president of the Board of Governors of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.  He has served as Chairman of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee and Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Kentucky, and he is currently trustee emeritus of Vanderbilt University after serving on the Vanderbilt Board of Trust for 17 years.

In 1988, Mr. Turner accepted the Presidential Award for Private Sector Initiatives from President Ronald Regan at a White House ceremony.  In 1991, the Sales and Marketing Executives of Nashville recognized Mr. Turner with the Summit Award for his excellence in management.  He received the Silver Hope Chest Award in 1992, an honor presented annually by the Middle Tennessee chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.  In 1994, he was honored as Nashvillian of the Year by the Easter Seal Society of Tennessee.  In 1997, he received the Alexis de Tocqueville Society Volunteer of the Year Award from the United Way of Middle Tennessee, and, in 1998, he received the Vanderbilt Distinguished Alumnus Award.  In 2002, Meharry Medical College presented Mr. Turner with the school’s prestigious Salt Wagon Award, given for acts of kindness and commitment to Meharry Medical College and its mission.

Cal Turner, Jr.’s commitment to the Methodist Church has been a lifelong personal ministry of faith.  The Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church inducted Mr. Turner into the Fellows of the Society of John Wesley in 2001, for distinguished service to local church mission and ministry.  In 2002, Mr. Turner was awarded the Stanley S. Kresge Award by the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation for his commitment to higher education. 

The Cal Turner Family Foundation Board of Directors:

  • Cal Turner, Jr.

  • Cal Turner, III - Chairman

  • Margaret Turner

  • Jennifer Turner


The Importance of Giving Back...

The Cal Turner Family Foundation is dedicated to improving the world by serving the underserved. We believe that each life has inherent value and we seek to make the world a better place by the work that we do. Click here to download a list of current grantees.



The Cal Turner Family Foundation meets to approve grant requests two times per year.   

Step 1: Find out if you qualify

Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible to apply:

  • The organization must be exempt under IRS Section 501(c)(3). 
  • The organization must serve Nashville and Middle Tennessee.
  • Grants to individuals or for support of, or to purchase tickets to, charitable fundraising events or dinners will not be considered. 

Step 2: How to Apply

  • Contact Cabot Pyle,, to discuss your request and obtain access to our secure, online grant application.

Our application will request the following information:

  • Summary of your Organization’s history, mission, programs, and services.
  • Details of the Grant Request – general description of the specific program or project, goals and objectives, duration, anticipated outcomes, measures of success, collaborations, other sources of funding, and sustainability plans.
  • A directory of your organization’s Officers and Directors.
  • Your organization’s most recent Financial Statements.
  • Your organization’s most recent Annual Operating Budget.
  • A detailed budget of how the requested funds will be used.
  • A copy of your organization’s IRS tax determination letter confirming its 501(c)(3) status.

Cabot Pyle
Executive Director

Judy Miller

Pam Carris