Basic Eligibility

Organizations must meet basic requirements before a grant proposal will be considered. Your organization may be eligible for consideration if all of the following criteria are met:

  • The¬†organization is recognized as a 501(c)3 public charity by the Internal Revenue Service or is a governmental agency
  • The proposal drives one or more of our priorities
  • The proposal will serve the people and communities of greater Houston, including Harris County and its contiguous counties (Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller counties)

Criteria for Grant Applications

Houston Endowment receives many more applications for funding than it is able to support. The selection process is highly competitive and even strong proposals may not receive funding. 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 interconnectedness 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

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.