In 1976, at just 23 years of age, David Weekley started his own home building company. Now nearly 40 years later, David Weekley Homes has sold more than 70,000 homes and has expanded to 18 cities across the nation. David Weekley Homes began in Houston, Texas, and the David Weekley Family Foundation has focused on the Texas area since its inception in 1990.
Weekley dedicates 50 percent of his income to philanthropy and has embraced the "giving while living" model. Weekley is the former chairman and current executive committee member of the Sam Houston Area Council of Boy Scouts, a former vestryman at Palmer Memorial Church, and a former chairman of the Greater Houston Community Foundation, among others.
Unfortunately, the foundation doesn't have a website, or provide guidelines for grantseekers to get in touch. However, in a recent year, the David Weekley Family Foundation gave away more than $6.5 million and held nearly $100 million in assets.
Here are a few facts about this foundation's Texas grantmaking:
1. Supporting Churches and Religious Organizations is a Priority
In 2013, upward of $2 million went to churches and other religious outfits. While these have included efforts around the country, a lot of this grantmaking takes place in Texas. Apartment Life in Euless, Texas recently received $250,000. Apartment Life partners with local churches and other faith-based organizations toward community-building efforts. Recent money has also gone to Highland Park Presbyterian Church, Institute for Spirituality and Health, Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church ($310,000 in 2012), and Carolina Creek Christian Camp ($400,000 in 2012).
2. Education is Another Interest of the Foundation
In higher education, College of Biblical Studies-Houston received nearly $600,000 in 2013, with more modest sums going to Baylor College of Medicine and University of Houston. Houston Christian High School, and Yellowstone Academy have received support. Weekley is a trustee emeritus at the Kinkaid School, which in 2002, received upwards of $6 million alone.
3. The David Weekley Family Foundation is Also Deep Into Human Services Work.
The foundation has given millions to Homebuilding Industry Foundation, as well as to the Houston Food Bank, and the Greater Houston Community Foundation. Recent money has gone to United Way of Greater Houston, Ronald McDonald House of Houston, and LifeHouse of Houston. Weekley has also given millions to Boy Scouts of America.
Looking forward, grantseekers should also be aware of Weekley's changing priorities. Weekley's initial priority was helping his local community: "When you start working in your own community, there are a lot of positives. You’ve already got relationships... I myself focused on those kinds of things in the first 10 years of my giving." More recently, though, the foundation is involved in microfinance and micro-clinic efforts in Africa, as well as other global development projects. Still, Texas is likely to receive much attention from Weekley.