Genevieve and Ward Orsinger Foundation: Texas Grants

OVERVIEW: The Genevieve and Ward Orsinger Foundation supports outfits in Bexar County, Texas that "foster lifelong learning and self-reliance, use the fine arts to enhance quality of life, and support healthy lifestyles." The foundation also conducts a program in selected Central Texas counties for early childhood fine arts programs.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts, Education, Health, Early Childhood

IP TAKE: The majority of grants are for programs operating in Bexar County. It's important to note that Orsinger only considers grant requests up to $10,000 and all grants require a dollar-for-dollar match component. These provisions restrict Orsinger's viability.

PROFILE: Genevieve McDavitt Orsinger was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. She later taught at Stephens College in Missouri and in the San Antonio public school system. In 1954, she married Ward Orsinger, who founded Orsinger Motor Company. In 1980, the late couple gave fifteen acres of land to Bexar County to establish Orsinger Park. The Genevieve and Ward Orsinger Foundation was established in 1997 and is dedicated to helping people through education, cultural enrichment and human resources.

Here's a breakdown of what kinds of organizations have received funds in Bexar County:

  • Programs related to early childhood that emphasize health and wellness, the fine arts, outdoor activities and/or literacy.
  • Community service learning projects planned and operated by youth.
  • Programs for adults that support self-sufficiency and/or enhance their capacity to care for their families.
  • Programs for elderly persons that use the fine arts to enhance quality of life and/or support health and wellness.

However, the foundation made an announcement that no LOIs would be accepted for 2017 funding. This has been a time of strategic planning, so check the foundation's website for the most up-to-date information on grantmaking changes.

        Outside of Bexar County in Central Texas, the foundation has focused on programs delivered to children ages zero to five years old that utilize fine arts in curriculum. The foundation has stated that it gives "strong preference to existing programs/projects or general operating support that have funding from other sources, rather than new programs or the expansion of existing programs." Collaboration is also favored.

        In a recent tax year, the foundation gave away a little more than $660,000. Past grantees include Assistance League of San Antonio, Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas, City Year Inc, Communities in Schools of Central Texas, San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio Symphony, Cooperative Ministries in Higher Education, Junior Achievement, United Way of Greater Austin, and San Antonio Museum of Art. A grant to Kinetic Kids funded sports and recreation programs for children with special needs and a grant to Mainspring Schools funded early childhood fine arts programming. A list of past grants can be found here.

        The Orsinger Foundation has typically required LOIs from applicants. Only grant requests up to $10,000 have been considered in the past. It's important to note that all grants have required a dollar-for-dollar match component. Orsinger states that as a "small family foundation, we are not able to fund programs in their entirety." Match dollars must be secured within a three-month period of the grantee's choosing. 

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