Greater Texas Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Greater Texas Foundation is an education funder that supports postsecondary success for students throughout Texas. Grants often go to universities for postsecondary success programs and research on related topics.

FUNDING AREAS: Postsecondary education in Texas

IP TAKE: The largest grants tend to go to major Texas universities, but small, local nonprofits shouldn’t be discouraged from applying for grants. There are good opportunities here for rural education programs.

PROFILE: With a history that dates back to 1981, the Greater Texas Foundation (GTF) is based in Bryan, Texas. GTF is an education-focused funder working to help Texas students succeed in postsecondary education. It was formed through the expansion of the Greater Texas Student Loan Corporation, the foundation’s predecessor entity. The election to expand its charitable purpose was made in 2001, and the loan corporation was called LoanSTAR Systems. All grantmaking is centered on postsecondary education in Texas.

The foundation is primarily interested in programs and services that increase rates of postsecondary enrollment and completion for Texas students. Particular focus is on underprivileged students who may experience barriers to postsecondary success. Since 2014, the foundation has focused on regional-level work that helps the various regions of Texas collaborate. It also has been expanding beyond grantmaking to research and policy advocacy. Foundation-initiated research projects include Dollars for Degrees, Texas Regional Action Plan, and the Study of Dual Credit Access and Effectiveness in the State of Texas. In the past, the funder awarded a grant of $3 million to the Texas A&M Foundation to support an initiative for rural student success. It awarded a $500,000 grant to the University of Texas at Austin for an online tool to streamline postsecondary pathways and a $130,000 grant to the school to support research to increase the number of students who transfer from two-year to four-year schools. The foundation has a fellows’ program for the purpose of building research and teaching capacity for Texas faculty. Fellows receive up to $30,000 per year for three years. 

Grants can be anywhere from $1,000 to $3 million. Multiyear grants are awarded occasionally. Browse past grants on the foundation website. GTF disburses grants throughout Texas, but grants tend to cluster around San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas.

GTF accepts unsolicited inquiries from nonprofits about grants. Email the director of programs and strategy to initially discuss an idea. Selected inquirers are invited to submit brief concept papers via online application system. Direct general questions to the foundation staff at 979-779-6100 or to individual staff members via email.

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