Does this new website signal a shift in focus for Houston Endowment?
Houston Endowment has been working in greater Houston for nearly 80 years. During that time, we have continually reassessed our priorities and evolved our work to ensure we are addressing the most important needs of the community. Our new website provides transparency about our current funding priorities, approach and desired outcomes.
What happened to the five program areas? Why did you move away from them?
Houston Endowment continues to work in each of the program areas in which we have worked over the past few years, but we are talking about those areas differently. We are increasingly mindful of the interconnection of issues across those “traditional” program areas. Our new framework is intended to acknowledge that interconnection and to clarify the outcomes we’re focused on for the region and its residents.
I don’t see a particular program area listed. Do you still make grants in that area?
We continue to fund in Arts & Culture / Education / Environment / Health / Human Services. Please review the information on our website detailing our Focus Areas. There you will find specific information about our current grantmaking priorities. Or, you may speak with a program officer about whether a specific request for funding drives our priorities.
Are levels of funding changing?
Houston Endowment anticipates continuing to award funding at current levels; our Board generally approves between $60 to $80 million per year in new grants. We look for opportunities that will have the greatest impact on residents or contribute measurably to the vibrancy of the region. Specific spending in any one area may fluctuate from year to year based on the needs of the community and opportunity for impact.
Who is the program officer for each focus area?
Multiple program officers work within each focus area. The program officer listed next to each priority on the Focus Areas page is the first point of contact; he or she will direct inquiries to other staff members as appropriate.
Has the application process for a grant changed?
Applications continue to be submitted via GMS, our online application system. The application process has not changed significantly. There are a few important items to note:
- Completing a full application:
In order to make good use of an applicant’s time, we now ask that an applicant completing a full application for funding speak with a program officer prior to submitting a full application. A full application for funding will not be considered active until the organization has spoken with a program officer. You can learn more about the application process on our website in the For Applicants section.
- Choosing a program area in GMS:
Aligning our internal processes and systems to the new framework will take time. In the short term, organizations who are completing an application for new funding will still see our “old” program category headings of Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Health and Human Services. Applicants should choose the program area that most closely aligns with their request for funding. Applicants are encouraged to discuss any questions about program categories with a program officer.
What are the basic eligibility requirements for a grant?
Basic eligibility requirements for a grant have not changed. Organizations seeking funding must meet the following requirements:
- Hold charitable nonprofit status recognized by the IRS, or qualify as a government agency (such as a public school or university)
- Drive one or more of our funding priorities
- Work within our geographic boundaries, which include Harris County and its contiguous counties (Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller counties).
Grant eligibility guidelines are outlined in more detail in the For Applicants section of our website.
Will anything change about my current grant from Houston Endowment?
Changes to our strategic framework do not affect active grants. Organizations with active grants from Houston Endowment are encouraged to review the terms of their grant contracts and speak with their program officer to discuss questions. Prior to submitting a new application for funding, current grantees should review the detailed funding priorities on our website and speak with a program officer about whether the new application for funding drives our priorities.
How can I get my organization featured on your website?
We are only as successful as our community partners and we welcome the opportunity to feature their work on our website. Houston Endowment grantees with a program, event or milestone that may be suitable for a story should contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.