Coastal Bend Community Foundation

OVERVIEW: This Texas funder supports seven coastal counties in the fields of arts and culture, education, environment, families and children, health, human services, and the public good. Unsolicited applications are accepted for competitive grants once per year.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts and culture, education, environment, community development, children, health, human services, animal welfare, the elderly, historical preservation, disaster relief

IP TAKE:  This is a good funder to know along the coast, regardless of what type of nonprofit you’re running. It’s open to pretty much anything within the service area.

PROFILE: The Coastal Bend Community Foundation (CBCF) is based in Corpus Christi and serves the seven-county region of Texas Coastal Bend. As a community funder, it helps donors pool their dollars to support local nonprofits. CBCF was established in 1981 after the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce came together with community leaders to encourage philanthropy in the area.

CBCF awards unrestricted funds to a broad spectrum of projects and nonprofits. Top interests are arts and culture, education, environment, families and children, health, human services, and the public good. The highest priorities include disadvantaged youth and elderly, job creation, anti-poverty efforts, and education. Start-up funding for new groups is less likely from this funder.  

Grants go to groups that serve the following counties: Aransas, Bee, Jim Wells, Kleberg, Nueces, Refugio, and San Patricio. Requests for program support and general operating support are considered. The foundation has assets of over $72.5 million; in a recent year it awarded nearly $97 million through grants and scholarships. There are around 300 funds held at CBCF. Current financial data can be viewed here.

The grants process is completely online, with applications generally accepted between May 1 and June 15. Projects must be completed by September 30 of the following year. Grants have gone to the Kingsville Symphony Orchestra, the Texas State Aquarium, and the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Coastal Bend. Most grants are $5,000 to $10,000.

Beyond the unrestricted yearly grants, CBCF also gives annual grants through funds that focus on the following areas: intellectually disabled, children’s programs, cultural activities, dogs and humane societies, historic and ecological preservation projects, and the elderly. As a general rule and with only a few exceptions, this foundation does not support brick-and-mortar projects, equipment purchases, private school projects, scientific research projects, or annual fund drives.

In addition to grants, CBCF also awards scholarships to students from more than 100 funds. Nearly $440,000 was awarded in scholarships in a recent year to students in Aransas, Bee, Jim Wells, Kleberg, Nueces, Refugio and San Patricio, and Willacy counties. The foundation also manages a one-day matching gift campaign online each November called the Coastal Bend Day of Giving.

General questions can be directed to the staff at 361-882-9745. Karen W. Selim, JD, is the foundation’s president and CEO. She is joined on the staff by a director of communications and a program director. Program Director Nicole Ross can be reached at nross@cbcfoundation.org. The funder’s mailing address is 615 N. Upper Broadway, Suite 1950, Corpus Christi, TX 78401. Latest news from the foundation, as well as upcoming deadlines and events, are published on the foundation’s website homepage.

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