Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation: Southwest Grants

OVERVIEW: The King Foundation supports organizations that serve the elderly, youth, education, indigent populations, arts/culture, and nonprofit capacity in five counties in North Texas, 38 counties in West Texas, and 32 counties in Arkansas. This locally focused funder awards about $2 million per year.

FUNDING AREAS: Aging population; Arts, culture, and history; Children and youth; Education; Indigent; Nonprofit capacity

IP TAKE: This is a funder that’s had some scandals in the past and has emerged more transparent and accessible. Call them, talk to them. They’ll be upfront about whether your program is a good fit and won't waste your time. Check the North Texas and West Texas grantmaking coverage maps to make sure you’re serving the right county.

PROFILE: Established in 1966, the Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation is committed to supporting nonprofits in North Texas, West Texas, and Arkansas. The couple found success in the Texas oil fields in the early 20th century and entrusted their future leaders to support the regions that were near and dear to their hearts.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area and certain parts of West Texas and Eastern and Southern Arkansas are in prime focus these days. However, 65 percent of grants have gone to North Texas nonprofits over the last five years. Although the founding couple lived and worked in Tulsa, Oklahoma for 25 years, Oklahoma is left out of today’s foundation grantmaking. The Kings lived in Dallas for the remainder of their lives, and many Dallas nonprofits have received the Kings' support. Arkansas is tossed into the mix because the Kings acquired a farm in Siloam Springs, Arkansas that was a beloved family retreat.

Since the foundation was established, it has given away over $60 million in nonprofit grants. Almost all of these grants go toward program support and only about 10 percent of grants are capital grants. The annual grant output is about $2 million per year. In a recent year, the foundation reported over $57 million in total assets.

Fortunately for grantseekers, there’s an entire tab on the foundation website dedicated to grantwriting help. The foundation encourages grantseekers to call the foundation or meet a staff member in person before submitting anything at all. Not only is this a refreshing policy, but grantseekers can often find out upfront how much they should request and when they can submit an application. The King Foundation also conducts site visits that last an hour or two, and about 70 percent of agencies receive a site visit before they submit a full proposal.

Grantmaking in North Texas is focused on the counties of Denton, Collin, Rockwall, Tarrant, and Dallas. Areas of focus include arts, culture, history, children, youth, education, and indigent populations. The foundation met with 130 representatives from North Texas nonprofits to develop new guidelines for grantmaking in North Texas.

In West Texas, the foundation focuses on 38 counties, including the Permian Basin, Concho Valley, and Big Bend regions. Focus areas are the same here as in North Texas; however, nonprofit capacity grants are also considered here. The foundation also sponsors West Texas Rural Philanthropy Days to connect local nonprofits and government agencies every two years and small group trainings in the off-years.

For both areas of Texas, spring cycle letter of inquiry deadlines are December 15 and nonprofits will receive notification of the foundation’s decision around February 1. February 28 is the deadline to submit a full proposal and grants are awarded in June. The fall cycle deadlines are as follows: LOI by June 15, notification by August 1, full proposals by August 31, and awards in December.

If you browse the King Foundation’s news section, you may see articles about affordable housing, community-focused artists, healthy habits in low-income neighborhoods, and programs for veterans. Past support has gone to charity-driven music programs and at-risk children at local schools. Learn more about the foundation’s grant history by using the Foundation Center’s map tool.

All letters of inquiry, proposals and grant reports are accepted via online portal. At least two years should pass between grant awards, but there’s no waiting period if your grant request is denied. General questions can be directed to the staff at 214-750-1884 or via email at info@kingfoundation.com. There are just four professionals on staff at the King Foundation, so they don’t typically do site visits until a LOI is submitted.

PEOPLE:

  • Michelle D. Monse, President
  • Laura L. Duty, Program Director

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