This Texas Funder Is Big on Construction and Equipment Grants

Photo:   khlungcenter /shutterstock

Photo:  khlungcenter/shutterstock

While writing countless foundation profiles of funders across the country for IP over the past few years, I’ve come to notice a few things that constantly pop up on “do not support” lists. There’s often a preference for program support over general operating support and a notion to steer clear of grants for research, building costs, and equipment upgrades. But as with any general observation, there are exceptions to this rule, and the San Angelo Health Foundation is one of these exceptions.  

Based in San Angelo, Texas, this foundation announced $783,657 in new grants this summer to benefit the Concho Valley. An overarching theme of this round of grantmaking was support for building construction and covering equipment costs.

For example, the largest grant went towards building transitional homes for families at risk of becoming homeless. Meanwhile, the next largest grants went towards a building purchase and playground equipment for kids with special needs. In fact, every single one of the grants recently awarded went to a building or equipment purchase expense of some kind. This is a rare breed of funder that really seems to love this type of work, touching on something that’s so often excluded in the list of possibilities for other foundations in the Southwest. Whether a fire department needs a new station, a dental organization needs a mobile unit to reach underserved people, or a charity camp needs a passenger van to transport kids, this foundation is in-tune with the most practical of local needs.

Something else that stands out about the recent grants is how diverse they were. Topics of interest were mental health, victims of assault, the LGBTQ community, public safety, youth development, and dental services. The largest grants exceeded $100,000 and went to the Galillee Community Development Corp., Open Arms Rape Crisis and LGBT+ Services, and Mosaic in San Angelo.

Nonprofits in San Angelo and the Concho Valley can apply for a grant here at any time of the year, but it’s recommended to get your requests in three or four months in advance of your timeline to allow for time to review. On the San Angelo Health Foundation’s “general exclusions” list, you won’t find building and equipment costs. But you will find support for political groups, religious organizations, past debt, individuals, fundraisers, and supplemental request for a previously funded project. Over the last two decades, the San Angelo Health Foundation has supported about 656 projects created by over 200 organizations in the region.

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