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The Powell Foundation Grant

Grants to Texas Nonprofits for Arts, Conservation, Education,
and Health in Harris, Travis, and Walker Counties

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Powell Foundation

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Grants to Texas nonprofit organizations for community benefit activities in Harris, Travis, and Walker Counties. Funding is intended for high impact projects in the focus areas of arts, conservation, education, and health, as well as other community needs.

The strategic focus of The Powell Foundation is to “Enhance the quality of life through robust public education with the goal of achieving career and college readiness for every public school student in Houston, Austin, and Huntsville.”

Education: The Powell Foundation supports efforts to improve the public education system within the Houston Independent School District (Harris County), Austin Independent School District (Travis County), and Huntsville Independent School District (Walker County). However, there is a willingness to consider particular programs that reach beyond those districts if there is potential to benefit indirectly one or more of these districts. The greatest emphasis in the Foundation’s funding over the past twenty years has been in the areas of early childhood education, teacher training and development, dropout prevention, and after school mentoring and enrichment programs. The Foundation will also consider supporting initiatives that strengthen school leadership, support college and career access, utilize technology to support instruction, and advocacy efforts to improve policy and effect systems change.

Arts: The arts are an integral part of modern culture as they reflect and define a community. The arts are a means for communicating with one another while transcending cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic differences. They are an economic asset to the community, supporting thousands of jobs and generating more than $70 million in revenue in Houston alone. Introducing youth to the arts is important to The Powell Foundation as studies have shown that children participating in the arts are more creative, have more self confidence, and achieve better academic outcomes. They are also more likely to attain higher levels of education. Emphasis is placed on school arts programs that expose youth to the visual, musical, and theatrical arts.

Conservation: As Texas’ urban areas continue to grow at such a rapid rate, it has become imperative to focus on maintaining a healthy and sustainable environment as well as provide a high quality of life for residents by setting aside and/or improving outdoor spaces. Park space is critical to the mental, physical and emotional well being of residents. It also acts as an economic stimulus in an urban setting. The three counties in which The Powell Foundation provides grants each have different ecosystems and different needs. Emphasis is placed on those particular needs as well as educating youth so that they will become good stewards of their environment. Many environmental educational programs also provide an excellent means for hands-on math and science learning that is critically needed in the school systems.

Health: The greater the quality of mental and physical health of its citizens the more productive a community can be. Children in particular if fed and cared for adequately will thrive and flourish. The Foundation supports efforts to improve health outcomes through improved access to primary care, mental health services, hunger prevention, homeless prevention, and domestic abuse. Many health programs supported by the Powell Foundation are focused on children in schools.

Other: At times the Foundation will make exceptions in funding requests outside the stated areas of interest. The majority of these grants fall under the Foundation’s program to encourage personal philanthropy by its Directors and Advisory Directors and to support the field of philanthropy in general. Additionally, grant recipients may represent a specific need that required urgency.

The Foundation looks for innovators in their respective fields and supports organizations with strong board and administrative leadership that have the capacity to conduct meaningful and effective work. A strong balance sheet and broad financial support, as well as a record of successful outcomes are all essential for consideration. Organizations are evaluated on their planning capabilities and ability to leverage their strengths with other community organizations.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 160938

Term of Contract:

Normally, the Foundation will not consider requests for grant commitments extending into successive calendar years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:


- The requesting organization must be tax-exempt.
- The Powell Foundation's Directors must be persuaded that the requesting organization engages in sound financial planning and solid management practices. The Foundation reserves the right at any time to request information on the destination of funds granted.
- Normally, the Foundation will not consider requests for building funds or grant commitments extending into successive calendar years.
- The Foundation Directors are interested principally in grants to be spent in the Foundation's geographic areas of interest, i.e., Harris, Travis, or Walker Counties, Texas.

The Foundation does not expect to support:

- Grants to religious organizations for religious purposes.
- Fundraising events or advertising.
- Grants to other private foundations.
- Grants to cover past operating deficits or debt retirement.
- Grants for support to individuals.

Pre-Application Information:

All requests must be submitted online through a two-step process. Submission and approval of a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) form is required before a full proposal may be submitted. The Foundation's Board of Directors meets twice per year. The LOI submission window for the fall 2018 board meeting is May 1 through June 22. The LOI submission window for the spring 2019 board meeting is November 1 through December 7. Upon LOI approval, an applicant will be invited to submit a complete application and assigned an application deadline. Submitting a request earlier in the grant cycle is always recommended.

A Foundation staff member will review each request and conduct the necessary due diligence which may include a site visit. Applicants will be notified regarding the disposition of applications in the timeframe between submission and the period immediately following a board meeting.


How to Apply:

Information on Focus Areas:


To ensure that you receive all communications, it is recommended to add to your contacts or trusted senders list.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register and apply online:

If you are unsure if your agency has previously registered, if you do not have your individual log in credentials, or if you need to add log in credentials for a new individual, please contact Crystal Ross at or 713-523-7557.

The Powell Foundation
2121 San Felipe, Suite 110
Houston, TX 77019

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Texas: Harris, Travis, and Walker Counties