Carlson Foundation: Texas Grants

OVERVIEW: The Carlson Foundation is the philanthropic vehicle of Carlson Capital Founder Clint Carlson, and his wife Nancy. The couple's Texas grantmaking strongly tracks with board memberships and other personal connections in Dallas and Houston. 

FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Arts & Culture, Human Services, Health 

IP TAKE: The foundation keeps a low profile and does not accept unsolicited proposals. Networking will be key for getting on this funder's radar. 

PROFILE: The Carlson Foundation was established near the start of last decade by Carlson Capital Founder Clint D. Carlson and his wife Nancy, who also works at the company. The couple's grantmaking via their foundation almost exclusively focuses on Texas organizations, primarily in Dallas and Houston. Education is a big interest, and the couple strongly supports their alma mater Rice University. The school has received millions from the Carlsons.

Nancy also holds a JD from University of Texas at Austin School of Law, which the family has also supported. The school is home to the Center for Women in Law, an outfit the Carlsons have contributed to as well. Other grantees have included Southern Methodist University, Basalt Elementary School, Dallas Children’s Advocacy School, Preston Hollow Presbyterian School, and Greenhill School, which has been strongly supported.

In the arts, the couple's Texas grantmaking involves outfits like Dallas Children’s Theater; Dallas Museum of Art, where Nancy sits on the board; Orchestra of New Spain; Texas Ballet Theater; and TACA (The Arts Community Alliance).

In health and human services, the family through their foundation have supported places like North Dallas Food Bank, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, and the S.M. Wright Foundation, which provides "support and stability to underprivileged children and less fortunate families through hunger relief, economic empowerment, and assistance in the areas of education, health and social services."

Overall, the Carlson Foundation gave away around $852,000 in a recent year. Grantmaking of late has tended to involve similar organizations, and the foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals either. 


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The Carlson Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch with the couple, but below is an address:

The Carlson Foundation
2100 McKinney Ave., Ste. 1800
Dallas, TX 75201