If you live in the Dallas area, you’re probably already familiar with the Rees-Jones name. Texas oil billionaire Trevor Rees-Jones and his wife, Jan, established a private family foundation nearly a decade ago to focus on kids and families in North Texas.
This is a great funder to know for conservative Christian groups and youth-focused nonprofits in the area. These are a few important things to keep in mind about the Rees-Jones Foundation if you work for a Texas nonprofit:
1. The Foundation Favors Conservative Christian Organizations
The Rees-Jones Foundation’s vision is “that the love of Christ is experienced in tangible ways by those in our community who are disadvantaged or who are suffering spiritually, physically, or emotionally.” However, very few grants are made to actual churches or religious organizations. In the past, most grants have gone to secular entities, but the foundation isn’t shy about bringing God into its grantmaking.
Trevor Rees-Jones has also been big supporter of Republican politics over the years. However, the billionaire couple has kept its personal donations separate from foundation grants. Although political and lobbying causes are not considered for foundation grants, right-leaning organizations may have an advantage.
2. Counties Around Dallas and Fort Worth Are a Focus
The Rees-Jones Foundation has made its occasional national and international grant, but the main focus has always been right here at home. International Christian groups are considered for grants on an invitation-only basis.
Meanwhile, most grants go to underserved communities in Dallas, Fort Worth, the metropolitan area, and the surrounding counties. In the past, many grants have been in the $50,000 to $100,000 range.
3. Kids and Youth are Top Priorities
Although the foundation has several different areas of interest (human services, youth development, mental health, and community benefit), the common thread that runs through them all is children. In each of its giving areas, Rees-Jones prioritizes kids and youth. In 2013, 89.2 percent of grant dollars and 45.5 percent of grants went to human services organizations.
Regardless of interest area, the foundation prefers to give program support over anything else, but general operating and capital requests are considered, too.
4. Letters of Inquiry Aren’t Required
Interestingly, letters of inquiry are considered an option, not a requirement, at the Rees-Jones Foundation. Nonprofits are only encouraged to submit a letter of inquiry if they are unsure if their proposal is a good match for the foundation. If you’re feeling confident, jump right ahead to the full application. The staff wants to see your full application before meeting with you, and there are no application deadlines.
In recent years, the foundation has awarded over 100 grants that total over $50 million, and multi-million-dollar grants tend to pop up each year. General questions can be directed to President Thornton Hardie or Senior Program Officers Terese Stevenson and Anne Talley at info@rees-Jonesfoundation.org or 214-751-2977.