Austin Community Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports Central Texas communities in the areas of arts and culture, animals, community engagement, education, environment and public space, health and wellness, human services and basic needs, and recreation. The community grants program accepts online applications.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts and culture, animals, community engagement, education, environment and public space, health and wellness, human services and basic needs, recreation

IP TAKE: This is one of the larger community foundations in Texas, and it looks beyond the city of Austin. Grantmaking categories are broad, so all regional groups should be familiar with ACF.

PROFILE: The Austin Community Foundation (ACF) was established in 1977 in Austin, Texas. This community funder awards over $20 million each year, mostly through its donor-advised funds. In a recent year, it reported assets of $180 million, endowed assets of 60 percent, and 1,000 funds. A total of $23.5 million was awarded in total grants that year, and $2.3 million of those funds were community grants. Current financial data can be viewed here.

ACF has a community grant program that accepts online applications. There are eight community impact areas, with applications accepted year-around. Areas include arts and culture, animals, community engagement, education, environment and public space, health and wellness, human services and basic needs, and recreation. Learn about recent grantees here.

This funder sticks to five counties in Central Texas: Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson. However, it may consider requests from outside this area if the project improves the lives of people in its regions of interest. General operation support is not provided, only program/project support. ACF is open to both new and well-established nonprofits. The only way to apply for grants is through ACF’s online application for community grants, as it does not accept requests for donor-advised funds.

ACF also runs the Hispanic Impact Fund to address needs of the Latino community and promote economic security and advancement. An ACF women’s fund supports educational programs and leadership development for women.

The foundation awards scholarships. In a recent year, it awarded $600,000 in scholarships to 400 students. Other ACF efforts include helping nonprofits establish endowment, investment, and designated funds as well. A list of the local groups that have set up local ACF funds in a variety of service areas is posted on the website.

General questions can be directed to info@austincf.org or 512-472-4483. Program staff includes a vice president and a couple of program associates. The foundation office is located at 4315 Guadalupe Street, Suite 300, Austin, Texas 78751. Keep up with ACF's work and interests at its news section and blog.

LINKS: