Earlier this year, we looked into the ORIX Foundation’s North Texas grantmaking to get a better understanding of this corporate funder’s local influence. To quickly recap, this funder is known for its presence in the Dallas area and its support of at-risk children, families in poverty, health and veterans.
Now, ORIX has renewed its commitment to the Dallas area in a big way with another $3 million to spend on groups developing innovative solutions to local social issues. This is a new philanthropic initiative to drive social innovation in the North Texas region, and it’s been made possible by a sizeable contribution from the financial services firm, ORIX USA Corporation. Dallas and the surrounding areas are the sole geographic focus of this grant opportunity because ORIX is based in Dallas and heavily involved in the local community.
“Our goal with the Community Innovation Project initiative is to seed and grow community-based solutions to persistent problems like poverty, achievement gaps or unemployment,” Josh Mayfield, ORIX Foundation board president and head of ORIX Energy Capital, said in a press release. “We hope this opportunity will encourage and accelerate innovation that will spur change for those who need it most.”
The core focus areas of this opportunity are veterans’ issues, family empowerment, children at risk, education, health and basic needs. With such broad parameters, this means that lots of local groups can get in on the action.
The funder says that preference will be given to projects that meet unmet local needs and that significantly expand upon existing programs. ORIX is also looking for new grantees that provide volunteer engagement for ORIX employees, so now would be a great time reevaluate your volunteer program and outreach strategy. And of course, the spirit of collaboration is alive and well in Texas philanthropy, so nonprofit collaborations are likely to catch ORIX’s attention.
What’s interesting about this new grant opportunity is that it is separate and in addition to the ORIX Foundation’s standard annual grant cycle. ORIX Foundation’s annual grant cycle is open May 1-31 each year, so that ship has sailed until next year. All this money is coming from employee donations, matching funds, corporation contributions and other investments. Also of note, this funder grants 99 cents of every dollar that it receives in donations to nonprofits.
Letters of intent are being accepted from Dallas-area nonprofits through July 31, and ORIX will consider requests for both single-year and multi-year projects. These Community Innovation Grants are expected to be over $250,000 each. To get started, interested nonprofits should create an account in ORIX’s grant management system.
ORIX has been redefining what corporate philanthropy is in Texas over the past few years and invested over $8.1 million in local communities. We’ll be looking for an announcement about the new round of grantees in early 2017.