Foundation for Southeast Texas

OVERVIEW: This funder supports arts and culture, preservation, education, health, social services, youth, the elderly, economic development, faith groups, and civic affairs in the Texas counties of Hardin, Jefferson, and Orange.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts and culture, preservation, education, health, social services, youth, the elderly, economic development, faith groups and civic affairs

IP TAKE:  This community foundation pursues broad interests through unrestricted grants made once per year. Grants aren’t huge, but quite a few go out each cycle.  

PROFILE: The Foundation for Southeast Texas is based in Beaumont, Texas, and serves nonprofits in the Texas counties of Hardin, Jefferson, and Orange. As a nonprofit public charity, the foundation accepts, manages, and distributes funds to the local communities. It was established in 1996 and is led by a board of 30 leaders in the aforementioned counties.

Grantmaking topics of interest include arts and culture, preservation, education, health, social services, youth, the elderly, economic development, faith groups, and civic affairs. About 28 designated, donor-advised, unrestricted, and scholarship funds are held here.

Grants distributed by endowed designated funds are awarded in January. Up to five percent of the value of the fund may be awarded. Non-endowed donor-advised fund grants are given out throughout the year at the request of donors. Unrestricted funds are part of a once-per-year competitive process. Application forms are on the funder’s website and also at local libraries in January of each year.

Human services grants have gone to the Salvation Army and Some Other Place, while education grants have gone to Vidor ACE After School Program and Community in Schools for supplies. Arts and culture grants have gone to purchases, repairs, and programs at the Beaumont Children’s Museum, Museum of the Gulf Coast, and Young Audience of Southeast Texas. Health grants have gone towards covering one individual family’s medical costs at Southeast Texas and for educational programs at the Alzheimer Association.

FST has granted over $3 million to Southeast Texas nonprofits and other national groups since 1998. A list of recent grants can be found in the funder’s annual reports and on the website list. Grants are typically $500 to $5,000. Nonprofit stories can be viewed here. Interestingly, this foundation also supports individuals and specific families. Overall, funding topics stay pretty open, as grants address the changing and emerging needs in the community.

The foundation can be reached at 409-833-7885 or via mail at P.O. Box 3092, Beaumont, Texas 77701. Mellie Bevilacqua is executive director and can be reached at director@cfsetx.org. A grants committee reviews applications and may request an interview before making a decision.

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