How the Moody Foundation Approaches Grantmaking

The Galveston-based Moody Foundation has over a billion dollars in assets and is one of the most powerful grantmakers in Texas. However, this private family foundation does grantmaking a little bit differently than you might expect.

Here are some important things to know before approaching the Moody program staff about a grant.

Most Funding Goes to Moody Gardens and the Transitional Learning Center

Of all the Moody grants that have been awarded over the years, two foundation projects have been the most enduring. Moody Gardens was first conceived in the 1980s as a way to boost the tourism industry in Galveston with activities that would attract locals and visitors throughout the year. These activities, which include a one-acre rainforest environment, the Discovery Pyramid of science exhibitions, a 3-D IMAX theater, and one of the country’s largest aquariums, generate over $36 million in revenue for the city today.

The other major Galveston project is the Transitional Learning Center, which offers comprehensive rehabilitation services to survivors of traumatic brain injuries. Moody funds also help scientists study ways to help people who are recovering from brain trauma. Although other grants are made throughout the year, most of Moody’s financial support goes to these two programs.

Unsolicited Grant Inquiries are Accepted Throughout the Year

Fortunately for grantseekers, the Moody Foundation welcomes unsolicited grant inquires and there are no deadlines to adhere to. The trustees review grant applications at least four times a year, although it typically takes up to six months to get a response back to your inquiry submission.

Nonprofits Can Pitch Three Projects at Once

One of the most unique features of Moody grantmaking is that nonprofits can pitch up to three projects for funding at one time. You’ll need to provide an estimated budget, description, and amount of funding needed for each project. As a general rule, no more than one of your organization’s projects will be selected for further review. However, this is a great opportunity for Texas nonprofits that always have a couple amazing programs in mind at the same time.

Dallas and Austin Are Eligible for Grants and Scholarships

Although the Moody Foundation used to be Galveston-centric, it has expanded to include both grantmaking and scholarship support in Dallas and Austin. Support in Dallas is centered on social services and art education, and support in Austin is focused on children’s issue and environmental projects. Students at selected Dallas and Austin high schools are eligible for Moody scholarships for college as well.

Related: IP’s Profile of the Moody Foundation