Giving is an Outlaw State of Mind for the Stapleton Family

April 5, 2022Donor Stories

Kentucky native and one of the country’s most respected and beloved musicians, Chris Stapleton has received numerous awards for his work: eight Grammys, seven Academy of Country Music awards, 14 Country Music Association awards and five Billboard music awards, just to name a few. His songs appeal to music fans across all genres, and he’s worked with performers such as Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, P!nk, Bruno Mars and Adele.

But there’s a collaboration he holds closer to his heart: his philanthropic endeavors.

Chris and his wife, Morgane, established a charitable fund, Outlaw State of Kind, at Nashville’s Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee in 2016, and since the fund’s inception, they have distributed over 150 grants to a variety of causes that are close to their hearts. Chris was born in Lexington and raised in Eastern Kentucky, and although he hasn’t lived in the commonwealth for 20 years, he’s always maintained a close connection to the people and places that shaped his early years. Chris and Morgane’s desire to expand their outreach led them to Blue Grass Community Foundation to help facilitate and organize their charitable efforts in Kentucky.

In 2019 Chris and Morgane, along with special guests Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow and Yola, announced a benefit concert – A Concert for Kentucky – the first concert to be held at University of Kentucky’s Kroger Field. The proceeds would go to his newly established Outlaw State of Kind Hometown Fund at BGCF, with initial grant distributions focusing on support of local and national organizations directly impacting Kentucky, particularly in the areas of music and arts education.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Kentucky just before the concert was to take place in April 2020. The concert had to be rescheduled – twice – and is now set for Saturday, April 23. Although the concert plans were on pause, the philanthropic work that brought Chris and Morgane to the Community Foundation has been going at full speed.

In addition to COVID-19, Chris’ home state has dealt with several recent challenges and natural disasters, and the Stapletons have been there to help Kentuckians get through the tough times. They joined the Appalachia Rises fundraising efforts and awarded grants to support Appalachian nonprofits impacted by historic flooding. They responded when Western Kentucky was devastated by destructive tornadoes. And they stepped in when the main offices of Big Brothers Big Sisters in Lexington were broken into, donating funds to replace critical computers and equipment and an autographed bottle of E.H. Taylor bourbon to raise additional funds at auction.

The bourbon donation was part of a special collaboration with Buffalo Trace Distillery, with the contents of a hand-picked barrel of E.H. Taylor bourbon specially bottled and
autographed by Chris Stapleton. Initial bottles were auctioned through his Outlaw State of Kind charitable fund to support disaster relief in Texas and Eastern Kentucky.

BGCF assisted Chris with distributing nine additional bottles to local nonprofits, and to date, these autographed limited-edition bottles have raised more than $100,000 for charities in Central and Eastern Kentucky.



Saturday, April 23
Kroger Field, Lexington
Tickets available on


To learn how we can help you give back and make a meaningful impact in your hometown, contact BGCF Director of Community Advancement Jane Higgins.