Brownsville Community Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Brownsville Community Foundation has a competitive grant process that supports Brownsville, Texas, groups in the fields of education, economic development, health, housing, the arts, historic preservation, and the environment.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, economic development, health, housing, the arts, historic preservation, the environment

IP TAKE:  Competitive grantmaking from BCF has been known to take a year off. Check their website for up-to-date grant availability.  

PROFILE: Established in 1997, the Brownsville Community Foundation (BCF) is based in Brownsville, Texas and supports the local community. Since then, it has awarded millions of dollars through donor-directed grants, competitive grants, and initiatives. BCF aims to “improve the quality of life for people in Brownsville by promoting philanthropy, building permanent charitable endowments, and addressing community needs.” Grantmaking interest areas are education, economic development, health, housing, the arts, historic preservation, and the environment.

BCF funds local groups in an annual cycle. Its competitive process reviews requests for grants out of the foundation’s unrestricted fund and also from donor-advised funds. BCF gives preference to requests from collaborating nonprofits, and nonprofits should complete their funded projects within a year. Grantees include the Bishop Enrique San Pedro Ozanam Center and Good Neighbor Settlement House for the Homeless After-Hours Transportation project, Moody Clinic and Brownsville Community Health Clinic, which collaborated on behalf of children with special needs in the community, and the Gorgas Science Foundation for the Sabal Palm Sanctuary Education Center. The foundation also hosts a citywide giving event, The Big Give Brownsville, a 24-hour fundraising initiative. The first BCF initiative was Youth in Philanthropy, in which BCF created a donor-advised Common Goal Fund. As part of the initiative, high school students at six BISD public high schools spent a semester learning about the world of philanthropy and taught about grantmaking.

Foundation grants are typically less than $10,000 each. Total annual grantmaking ranges from $50,000 to $100,000. Learn more about past grants here. Grantmaking is centered on Brownsville, Texas and the surrounding region.

BCF has accepted unsolicited grant requests from nonprofits in the past, but check the funder’s website to learn if the foundation is currently accepting new proposals. If so, the foundation will provide a link to the grant proposal PDF. In the past, the foundation has required grantseekers to mail three copies of applications and also to email a copy before the deadline. Direct general questions to the foundation staff at 956-572-3730 or info@brownsvillecommunityfoundation.org.

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