In terms of both geography and population, Texas is the second-largest state, with 268,597 square miles of land and over 28.7 million people. Given these stats, it’s little surprise that Texas is home to dozens of community foundations that address the varying needs of residents. One of these many funders is the (BCF), which has been a locally focused grantmaker since 1997.
Here are a few things to know about the Brownsville Community Foundation for nonprofits that operate in this border town at the far southern tip of Texas.
BCF Has Broad Interests
The city of Brownsville is home to around 183,300 people and a popular spot for American and Mexican beach tourists. This is a place where people come to spend the winter among citrus fruit trees and sandy beaches. Yet it’s also a rapidly growing community that more than doubled in size between 1980 and 2010. This growth has brought on an increased need for nonprofit services, and BCF is open to considering pretty much all of them. Recent topics of interest for the community foundation include education, economic development, health, housing, the arts, historic preservation, and the environment.
Collaboration Is Key
Something that grantees in these broad funding categories often have in common is their collaborative nature. BCF is known for giving preference to groups that collaborate with other local nonprofits and that are also able to complete their shared projects within one year’s time. Collaborative grantees include Moody Clinic with Brownsville Community Health Clinic, Saint Joseph Academy with Guadalupe Regional Middle School, and Tip of Texas Family Outreach with the Brownsville Housing Authority.
Grants Are Usually $5,000 and $10,000
Overall, BCF grants tend to be between $5,000 and $10,000 each. However, the size of grants varies from one year to the next. In a recent year, the funder awarded seven grants that were each $8,500. The year before that, grant amounts were between $10,000 and $20,000. In another grant cycle, grants dipped as low as $1,000 and went as high as $9,225. In addition to traditional grantmaking, BCF hosts the annual Big Give Brownsville event, which is a 24-hour giving day that has been held since 2017 to benefit local charities.
Grantmaking May Take Time Off
BCF grantmaking is typically pretty steady, but the funder has been known to take some time off from awarding grants. As of this writing, for example, BCF is not accepting new grant proposals, and the only active initiatives are the 24-hour giving campaign and a youth philanthropy effort. When the funder is accepting new proposals, it will provide a link to the grant proposal PDF on its website.