Helen Gertrude Sparks Charitable Trust

OVERVIEW: The Helen Gertrude Sparks Charitable Trust supports arts, culture, humanities, education, health, and human services organizations in Texas.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts, culture, humanities, education, health, human services

IP TAKE: The arts are very important to this funder. Pitch an idea that is related to local theater in Texas.

PROFILE: Since 1971, the Helen Gertrude Sparks Charitable Trust has provided grants to charitable organizations in Texas. Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Sparks returned to her hometown after college and worked with the Fort Worth Little Theater. During her lifetime, Sparks supported local artists and commissioned their works. She was also interested in needlepoint and literature. Managed by Bank of America’s Texas office, her foundation funds local arts, culture, humanities, education, health, and human services efforts.

The Helen Gertrude Sparks Charitable Trust regularly awards grants to nonprofits that assist the elderly and disabled. It supports groups that help disabled, orphaned, and otherwise disadvantaged children as well. This trust also provides funding for education and the arts, including both performing and non-performing arts. Overall, the trust looks to support organizations that do not receive the bulk of their funding from government sources. The trust typically makes two to three grant awards each year.

Grants range between about $5,000 and $15,000. Learn more about this funder’s local giving by examining its recent tax records. Grantmaking focuses on the state of Texas and specially in the city of Fort Worth.  Past local grantees include CASA of Tarrant County and Wings of Hope Equitherapy.

This foundation accepts unsolicited grant applications from nonprofits. The annual application deadline is August 1, and applicants can expect to hear back with a funding decision within about three to four months after this date. Grantseekers must use the Bank of America online system to apply for a grant. Direct general questions to the staff at tx.philanthropic@ustrust.com or 800-357-7094.

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