Basic Eligibility

Funding inquiries will be considered if and only if all of the following criteria are met:

  • The submitting organization is a 501(c)(3) organization described in section 509(a)(1), (2), or (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This includes public charities, governmental organizations, and eligible supporting organizations. (Organizations will be reviewed throughout the process to verify eligibility.)
  • The concept advances one or more of our priorities.
  • The concept will benefit the people of greater Houston, including Harris County and its contiguous counties (Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller counties).

Criteria for Funding Inquiries

In addition to determining basic eligibility, we consider additional organizational criteria as part of our due diligence process, including:

  • Strong, stable leadership and governance
  • Sound financial management
  • Ability to achieve impact and help drive our vision and mission
  • Awareness of current context
  • Recognition of the interconnected nature of challenges facing our community
  • Deep engagement with those whom the entity serves
  • Demonstrated commitment to partner and collaborate to achieve impact
  • Evidence that the proposed approach is likely to be effective and/or provide a significant opportunity to advance the field
  • Commitment to defining clear goals and tracking results, learning and adapting, and sharing results and learnings with others


Houston Endowment receives many more inquiries for funding than it is able to support. As a result, the selection process is highly competitive. A declination from Houston Endowment does not necessarily mean a concept does not have merit.

We Do Not Fund

Houston Endowment awards funds for a number of purposes. Typically, we do not fund:

  • Student scholarships
  • Endowment funds
  • Fundraising events or galas
  • Individual memorials
  • Lobbying efforts, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service
  • Religious activities


Please review the information for each focus area for more detailed information about our funding interests.