How Rainwater Funds Early Childhood Activities

Texas financier Richard Rainwater began his Rainwater Charitable Foundation in 1991, with the original goal of helping children in poverty. Since then, his foundation has expanded into K-12 education and medical research, especially progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a neurodegenerative brain disorder with which Mr. Rainwater was diagnosed in 2009. But early childhood activities remain a centerpiece of the Rainwater Foundation's giving.

The Harlem Children's Zone and the Zero to Five Funders Collaborative are favorite recipients of the Rainwater Foundation. The funder also has awarded grants to various chapters of the Boys and Girls Clubs. Rainwater concentrates much of its grantmaking, however, in two geographic areas: Rainwater's home city of Fort Worth, Texas, and his wife's home state of South Carolina.

In Fort Worth, one of Rainwater's biggest funding activities is the Morningside Children's Partnership, which aims to improve outcomes for young children, as well as elementary and secondary students, in the troubled Morningside neighborhood of southeast Fort Worth. The area has high rates of crime and unemployment and low rates of educational achievement. Through its support of this partnership, Rainwater has funded the Fort Worth Independent School District, as well as a wide range of nonprofits serving Morningside children. Recipients have included educational nonprofits, as well as churches and faith-based organizations in the area.

Lumin Education (formerly known as the East Dallas Community Schools) is another regular recipient of Rainwater funding. Lumin operates private early childhood schools and one elementary charter school in the Dallas area But Rainwater does not limit its early childhood funding to school-based organizations. It has funded the Fort Worth chapter of Camp Fire, as well as community foundations that support early childhood activities.

New grantseekers may have a difficult time getting the attention of the Rainwater Foundation, as the funder provides grants on an invitation-only basis. Further, your chances of securing funding are better if you are based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas or in South Carolina.

Related - IP's Profile of Rainwater's Texas Giving