Contents

Houston Endowment makes grants for a wide range of purposes to organizations and entities serving greater Houston. Please return to the Types of Investments section for more information.


Building Capacity

Building Capacity grants are for efforts intended to strengthen organizations by expanding institutional knowledge, skills or abilities that will be maintained over time. This effort must be likely to lead to demonstrably better results for the people the organization serves.

Please note: organizations seeking support for new staff positions or program expansion should complete a Project Support application, and organizations seeking funding for new software, new hardware or capital expenses should complete a Capital Improvement application.

 

Organization Information
In this section, you will provide general information about your organization, the work it does and the people it serves. In the next section, you will provide information about the specific program, project or effort for which you are requesting funds.

Supporting organizations or foundations applying on behalf of another entity should complete these questions with information about the benefiting organization.
Organization Information

  1. State your organization’s mission and vision in two or three sentences.
  2. Summarize your organization and its work in two or three sentences.
  3. How is the work of your organization relevant to the community today? Please limit your response to three to five sentences.
  4. Provide a brief overview of your core programming. As you describe each program, focus on how it produces and maximizes benefits for the people of greater Houston. Please limit your response to three or four sentences per program.

Engagement

Different organizations seek to engage different types of constituents depending on the nature of their work (i.e., audiences, clients, educators, landowners, legislators, volunteers and/or the general public). Some may be the beneficiaries of the organization’s programming, and others may be people who contribute to the organization’s ability to achieve its mission. In this section, you will be asked to discuss your organization’s various constituents. Please note that funders (public or private) should not be included as constituents in this section.

  1. What is the service area or geographic focus of your organization (i.e., neighborhood, city, county, region, etc.)? If you serve more than one area, please respond for your primary program(s).
  2. Who are the primary beneficiaries of your core programming? Please limit your response to three to four sentences.
  3. Are the primary beneficiaries described above the same as the people you seek to engage through that programming? (For example, land conservation efforts may benefit the general public while programming engages landowners or policymakers; a school-based clinic may benefit student health while programming engages parents, school leaders and partnering medical schools; a mentoring program may benefit youth while programming engages youth, adult volunteers to mentor them and school leaders to host the program). If not, please describe any other constituents you seek to engage. Please limit your response to two or three sentences per constituent.
  4. Using relevant and descriptive data, provide a summary of the constituents you have engaged in each of the past three years. Include what has been both successful and challenging in your engagement efforts and what strategies you are now employing as a result.

Capability

  1. Describe your organization’s greatest abilities. What does your organization know how to do especially well in its primary program(s)? Please limit your response to six to eight sentences.
  2. Describe your organization’s most significant achievements over the last three years. When appropriate, include dates (mm/yyyy) for specific accomplishments. Please limit your response to eight to ten sentences.
  3. Describe the financial and operational plans that ensure your organization’s sustainability over the next three to five years. Please limit your response to six to eight sentences.

 

Building Capacity Information

  1. Describe the opportunity or challenge that has led you to seek an increase in organizational capacity.
  2. Briefly describe the proposed capacity building project.
  3. Other than securing funding, what steps are critical to accomplishing the proposed project to build capacity?
  4. Briefly describe the knowledge, skills or abilities (the “new capacity”) your organization will gain.
  5. What are the results—the outcomes for those you serve—that your organization is committed to achieving with the new capacity?
  6. How will the new capacity assist in achieving these results?
  7. How will the new capacity be maintained over time?
  8. If the effort to build capacity depends on new staff members or consultants, what characteristics must they have to ensure success?

Capital Improvement

Capital Improvement grants are for the acquisition, construction or improvement of a physical asset that is critical in order to obtain demonstrably better results for the people the organization serves.

 

Organization Information
In this section, you will provide general information about your organization, the work it does and the people it serves. In the next section, you will provide information about the specific capital improvement for which you are requesting funds.

Supporting organizations or foundations applying on behalf of another entity should complete these questions with information about the benefiting organization.

Organization Information

  1. State your organization’s mission and vision in two or three sentences.
  2. Summarize your organization and its work in two or three sentences.
  3. How is the work of your organization relevant to the community today? Please limit your response to three to five sentences.
  4. Provide a brief overview of your core programming. As you describe each program, focus on how it produces and maximizes benefits for the people of greater Houston. Please limit your response to three or four sentences per program.

Engagement

Different organizations seek to engage different types of constituents depending on the nature of their work (i.e., audiences, clients, educators, landowners, legislators, volunteers and/or the general public). Some may be the beneficiaries of the organization’s programming, and others may be people who contribute to the organization’s ability to achieve its mission. In this section, you will be asked to discuss your organization’s various constituents. Please note that funders (public or private) should not be included as constituents in this section.

  1. What is the service area or geographic focus of your organization (i.e., neighborhood, city, county, region, etc.)? If you serve more than one area, please respond for your primary program(s).
  2. Who are the primary beneficiaries of your core programming? Please limit your response to three to four sentences.
  3. Are the primary beneficiaries described above the same as the people you seek to engage through that programming? (For example, land conservation efforts may benefit the general public while programming engages landowners or policymakers; a school-based clinic may benefit student health while programming engages parents, school leaders and partnering medical schools; a mentoring program may benefit youth while programming engages youth, adult volunteers to mentor them and school leaders to host the program). If not, please describe any other constituents you seek to engage. Please limit your response to two or three sentences per constituent.
  4. Using relevant and descriptive data, provide a summary of the constituents you have engaged in each of the past three years. Include what has been both successful and challenging in your engagement efforts and what strategies you are now employing as a result.

Capability

  1. Describe your organization’s greatest abilities. What does your organization know how to do especially well in its primary program(s)? Please limit your response to six to eight sentences.
  2. Describe your organization’s most significant achievements over the last three years. When appropriate, include dates (mm/yy) for specific accomplishments. Please limit your response to eight to ten sentences.
  3. Describe the financial and operational plans that ensure your organization’s sustainability over the next three to five years. Please limit your response to six to eight sentences.

 

Capital Improvement Information

  1. Describe the opportunity or challenge that has led you to seek a capital improvement.
  2. Briefly describe the capital improvement you plan to make.
  3. What are the results—the outcomes for the people or places you serve—that your organization is committed to achieving with this capital improvement once it is complete? How will this capital improvement assist in achieving these results?
  4. Other than securing funding, what steps or activities are critical to the completion of this capital improvement? Please provide a timeline for taking these steps and accomplishing these activities.
  5. Once it is completed, what impact will this capital improvement have on your organization’s operating budget? If there are increased costs associated with operating or implementing the capital improvement, how will you pay for them?
  6. What steps have you taken to ensure reasonable costs without compromising the quality of the capital improvement? Describe the cost/benefit analysis informing your design, construction and operating plans.
  7. Who will lead the capital improvement project? What characteristics does he or she have that can predict the success of the project?
  8. Are any partners or intermediaries critical to your organization’s success with this capital improvement project? If so, who are they and what are their roles?

General Operating Support

General Operating Support grants are unrestricted funds for organizations that are strongly aligned with the program goals of the foundation and operate effectively with ambitious, clearly defined strategic priorities that benefit the greater Houston area.

Organization Information

  1. State your organization’s mission and vision in two or three sentences.
  2. Summarize your organization and its work in two or three sentences.
  3. How is the work of your organization relevant to the community today? Please limit your response to three to five sentences.
  4. Provide a brief overview of your core programming. As you describe each program, focus on how it produces and maximizes benefits for the people of greater Houston. Please limit your response to three or four sentences per program.

Engagement

Different organizations seek to engage different types of constituents depending on the nature of their work (i.e., audiences, clients, educators, landowners, legislators, volunteers and/or the general public). Some may be the beneficiaries of the organization’s programming, and others may be people who contribute to the organization’s ability to achieve its mission. In this section, you will be asked to discuss your organization’s various constituents. Please note that funders (public or private) should not be included as constituents in this section.

  1. What is the service area or geographic focus of your organization (i.e., neighborhood, city, county, region, etc.)? If you serve more than one area, please respond for your primary program(s).
  2. Who are the primary beneficiaries of your core programming? Please limit your response to three to four sentences.
  3. Are the primary beneficiaries described above the same as the people you seek to engage through that programming? (For example, land conservation efforts may benefit the general public while programming engages landowners or policymakers; a school-based clinic may benefit student health while programming engages parents, school leaders and partnering medical schools; a mentoring program may benefit youth while programming engages youth, adult volunteers to mentor them and school leaders to host the program). If not, please describe any other constituents you seek to engage. Please limit your response to two or three sentences per constituent.
  4. Using relevant and descriptive data, provide a summary of the constituents you have engaged in each of the past three years. Include what has been both successful and challenging in your engagement efforts and what strategies you are now employing as a result.

Capability

  1. Describe your organization’s greatest abilities. What does your organization know how to do especially well in its primary program(s)? Please limit your response to six to eight sentences.
  2. Describe your organization’s most significant achievements over the last three years. When appropriate, include dates (mm/yy) for specific accomplishments. Please limit your response to eight to ten sentences.
  3. Describe the financial and operational plans that ensure your organization’s sustainability over the next three to five years. Please limit your response to six to eight sentences.

Goals


In this section of your General Operating Support application, please focus on primary organizational goals you expect to achieve in the coming year.  These goals may relate to any area of your organization (operations, programming, financial position, governance, etc). Define these goals in terms of specific, measurable outcomes. If a goal is part of a long-term effort, indicate which measurable milestone(s) in that effort you expect to achieve within the next 12 months. Explain why your organization developed and prioritized these particular goals. Six months from now, what specific indicators will you review to determine whether your organization is on track to achieve these goals?

  1. In the next year, what primary (two to three) organizational or programmatic goals do you expect to achieve? Define these goals in terms of specific, measurable outcomes. If a goal is a part of a long-term effort, indicate which measurable milestone(s) in that effort you expect to achieve within the coming year.
  2. Explain why your organization developed and prioritized these particular goals.
  3. Six months from now, what specific indicators will you review to determine whether your organization is on track to achieve these goals?

Project Support

Project Support grants are for programs or projects sponsored by entities that have a verifiable record of success leading to measurable results. Existing programs, expanding programs, new programs and onetime projects are eligible.

 

Organization Information
In this section, you will provide general information about your organization, the work it does and the people it serves. In the next section, you will provide information about the specific program or project for which you are requesting funds.

Supporting organizations or foundations applying on behalf of another entity should complete these questions with information about the benefiting organization.

Organization Information

  1. State your organization’s mission and vision in two or three sentences.
  2. Summarize your organization and its work in two or three sentences.
  3. How is the work of your organization relevant to the community today? Please limit your response to three to five sentences.
  4. Provide a brief overview of your core programming. As you describe each program, focus on how it produces and maximizes benefits for the people of greater Houston. Please limit your response to three or four sentences per program.

Engagement


Different organizations seek to engage different types of constituents depending on the nature of their work (i.e., audiences, clients, educators, landowners, legislators, volunteers and/or the general public). Some may be the beneficiaries of the organization’s programming, and others may be people who contribute to the organization’s ability to achieve its mission. In this section, you will be asked to discuss your organization’s various constituents. Please note that funders (public or private) should not be included as constituents in this section.

  1. What is the service area or geographic focus of your organization (i.e., neighborhood, city, county, region, etc.)? If you serve more than one area, please respond for your primary program(s).
  2. Who are the primary beneficiaries of your core programming? Please limit your response to three to four sentences.
  3. Are the primary beneficiaries described above the same as the people you seek to engage through that programming? (For example, land conservation efforts may benefit the general public while programming engages landowners or policymakers; a school-based clinic may benefit student health while programming engages parents, school leaders and partnering medical schools; a mentoring program may benefit youth while programming engages youth, adult volunteers to mentor them and school leaders to host the program). If not, please describe any other constituents you seek to engage. Please limit your response to two or three sentences per constituent.
  4. Using relevant and descriptive data, provide a summary of the constituents you have engaged in each of the past three years. Include what has been both successful and challenging in your engagement efforts and what strategies you are now employing as a result.

Capability

  1. Describe your organization’s greatest abilities. What does your organization know how to do especially well in its primary program(s)? Please limit your response to six to eight sentences.
  2. Describe your organization’s most significant achievements over the last three years. When appropriate, include dates (mm/yy) for specific accomplishments. Please limit your response to eight to ten sentences.
  3. Describe the financial and operational plans that ensure your organization’s sustainability over the next three to five years. Please limit your response to six to eight sentences.

 

Program or Project Information

In this section, you will provide detailed information about the specific program or project for which you are requesting funds.

Results

  1. What opportunity or problem does the project address?
  2. What are the results—the benefits for the people of greater Houston—that your organization is committed to achieving with this project?

Project

  1. Briefly describe your project.
  2. Other than securing funding, what steps or activities are critical to the overall success of the project?
  3. What evidence of success has led you to use this approach?
  4. How will your organization know when it has achieved the intended results? What information or evidence will you use to verify success?
  5. Who will lead the project? Why was he or she selected?
  6. Are any partners or intermediaries critical to your organization’s success with this project? If so, who are they and what are their roles?

Participants

  1. Describe the characteristics of the people you seek to engage through this project or program. This description should include the specific traits you will target and/or track (i.e., age, education level, ethnicity, gender, income level, neighborhood location, occupation and/or specific needs).
  2. Approximately how many people within reasonable reach of your organization fit this description? How did you calculate this number?
  3. What is the actual number of people you expect to engage over the coming year? How do you ensure that the people you actually engage have the same characteristics as those you seek to engage?

Public Policy and Engagement

Public Policy and Engagement grants are for efforts to inform public decision-making and improve the public’s ability to address a specific issue affecting a clearly defined population. Examples include community engagement activities, efforts to educate stakeholders and policymakers and public awareness initiatives. At a minimum, applications must demonstrate that the proposed effort is well researched and will lead to benefits for the defined population.

 

Organization Information
In this section, you will provide general information about your organization, the work it does and the people it serves. In the next section, you will provide information about the specific program or project for which you are requesting funds.

Supporting organizations or foundations applying on behalf of another entity should complete these questions with information about the benefiting organization.

Organization Information

  1. State your organization’s mission and vision in two or three sentences.
  2. Summarize your organization and its work in two or three sentences.
  3. How is the work of your organization relevant to the community today? Please limit your response to three to five sentences.
  4. Provide a brief overview of your core programming. As you describe each program, focus on how it produces and maximizes benefits for the people of greater Houston. Please limit your response to three or four sentences per program.

Engagement

Different organizations seek to engage different types of constituents depending on the nature of their work (i.e., audiences, clients, educators, landowners, legislators, volunteers and/or the general public). Some may be the beneficiaries of the organization’s programming, and others may be people who contribute to the organization’s ability to achieve its mission. In this section, you will be asked to discuss your organization’s various constituents. Please note that funders (public or private) should not be included as constituents in this section.

  1. What is the service area or geographic focus of your organization (i.e., neighborhood, city, county, region, etc.)? If you serve more than one area, please respond for your primary program(s).
  2. Who are the primary beneficiaries of your core programming? Please limit your response to three to four sentences.
  3. Are the primary beneficiaries described above the same as the people you seek to engage through that programming? (For example, land conservation efforts may benefit the general public while programming engages landowners or policymakers; a school-based clinic may benefit student health while programming engages parents, school leaders and partnering medical schools; a mentoring program may benefit youth while programming engages youth, adult volunteers to mentor them and school leaders to host the program). If not, please describe any other constituents you seek to engage. Please limit your response to two or three sentences per constituent.
  4. Using relevant and descriptive data, provide a summary of the constituents you have engaged in each of the past three years. Include what has been both successful and challenging in your engagement efforts and what strategies you are now employing as a result.

Capability

  1. Describe your organization’s greatest abilities. What does your organization know how to do especially well in its primary program(s)? Please limit your response to six to eight sentences.
  2. Describe your organization’s most significant achievements over the last three years. When appropriate, include dates (mm/yy) for specific accomplishments. Please limit your response to eight to ten sentences.
  3. Describe the financial and operational plans that ensure your organization’s sustainability over the next three to five years. Please limit your response to six to eight sentences.

 

Public Policy and Engagement Information

  1. What specific issue does your organization seek to improve?
  2. Briefly describe your public policy and engagement project.
  3. What population would ultimately benefit from the proposed initiative? How will it benefit?
  4. Describe the most important changes needed to improve this particular issue.
  5. Which of the changes described above does your initiative address?
  6. What is your approach, and why do you think it will work?
  7. How do your efforts align with what is already being done in the field?
  8. Other than securing funding, what steps are critical in this initiative? Please provide a timeline of when you expect them to occur.
  9. When you are halfway through the initiative, how will you know if you are on course to complete the initiative within the remaining time and funds?
  10. Who are the key people responsible for this initiative? What special qualifications, skills and/or experience does each contribute?
  11. Are any partners or intermediaries critical to your organization’s success with this initiative? If so, who are they and what are their roles?

Research

Research grants are for investigations that provide actionable data on a particular field through objective analysis of a specific system, issue or condition that affects greater Houston or its residents. At a minimum, applications must demonstrate that the proposed research is rigorously designed and will have the potential to make a significant impact on the system, issue or condition being investigated.
Organization Information
In this section, you will provide general information about your organization, the work it does and the people it serves. In the next section, you will provide information about the specific program or project for which you are requesting funds.

Supporting organizations or foundations applying on behalf of another entity should complete these questions with information about the benefiting organization.

Organization Information

  1. State your organization’s mission and vision in two or three sentences.
  2. Summarize your organization and its work in two or three sentences.
  3. How is the work of your organization relevant to the community today? Please limit your response to three to five sentences.
  4. Provide a brief overview of your core programming. As you describe each program, focus on how it produces and maximizes benefits for the people of greater Houston. Please limit your response to three or four sentences per program.

Engagement

Different organizations seek to engage different types of constituents depending on the nature of their work (i.e., audiences, clients, educators, landowners, legislators, volunteers and/or the general public). Some may be the beneficiaries of the organization’s programming, and others may be people who contribute to the organization’s ability to achieve its mission. In this section, you will be asked to discuss your organization’s various constituents. Please note that funders (public or private) should not be included as constituents in this section.

  1. What is the service area or geographic focus of your organization (i.e., neighborhood, city, county, region, etc.)? If you serve more than one area, please respond for your primary program(s).
  2. Who are the primary beneficiaries of your core programming? Please limit your response to three to four sentences.
  3. Are the primary beneficiaries described above the same as the people you seek to engage through that programming? (For example, land conservation efforts may benefit the general public while programming engages landowners or policymakers; a school-based clinic may benefit student health while programming engages parents, school leaders and partnering medical schools; a mentoring program may benefit youth while programming engages youth, adult volunteers to mentor them and school leaders to host the program). If not, please describe any other constituents you seek to engage. Please limit your response to two or three sentences per constituent.
  4. Using relevant and descriptive data, provide a summary of the constituents you have engaged in each of the past three years. Include what has been both successful and challenging in your engagement efforts and what strategies you are now employing as a result.

Capability

  1. Describe your organization’s greatest abilities. What does your organization know how to do especially well in its primary program(s)? Please limit your response to six to eight sentences.
  2. Describe your organization’s most significant achievements over the last three years. When appropriate, include dates (mm/yy) for specific accomplishments. Please limit your response to eight to ten sentences.
  3. Describe the financial and operational plans that ensure your organization’s sustainability over the next three to five years. Please limit your response to six to eight sentences.

Research Information

  1. What specific system, condition or issue does your organization propose to investigate?
  2. What population would ultimately benefit from the proposed research project? How will it benefit?
  3. What specific research question(s) do you seek to answer?
  4. What data sources will you draw upon?
  5. What research methods will you employ?
  6. Other than securing funding, what steps are critical in this research? Please provide a timeline of when you expect them to occur.
  7. Once the research is complete, what strategy will you employ to disseminate the results?
  8. Who will use the results of your research, and how will they use the results to benefit the defined population you ultimately seek to serve?
  9. Who are the key people responsible for this research project? What special qualifications, skills and/or experience does each contribute?
  10. Are any partners or intermediaries critical to your organization’s success with this research project? If so, who are they and what are their roles?