Meadows Foundation: Texas Grants

OVERVIEW: This is a Texas-focused private funder that addresses a range of needs to improve health and quality of life.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts and culture, civic and public affairs, education, health and human services, environment, public education, and mental health.

IP TAKE: This is a great Texas-specific funder of capital support projects. There is a wide range of giving priorities here, but health organizations and arts and culture groups have received the biggest share of Meadows' support over the past decade.

PROFILE: The Meadows Foundation is a private family foundation that was established in 1948 by wealthy oilman Algur H. Meadows and his wife Virginia Meadows. Algur co-founded the General American Oil Company in 1936, which became one of America’s largest and most successful independent oil production companies. Giving is distributed across the entire state of Texas in the areas of arts and culture, civic and public affairs, education, health, and human services. There are also giving initiatives that focus on the environment, public education and mental health. Recent giving has trended toward reducing crime and recidivism, animal welfare, and green building projects. Animal welfare grants are awarded to programs that build on the human-animal connection and emphasize the positive effects that animals can have on human health. Within Texas, between one-third and one-half of the grants are usually distributed in the Dallas area.

You can search for grants by year and geographic area on the foundation’s Grant Search page.

Legacy foundation programs include the Wilson Historic District, which was established in 1981 near downtown Dallas and provided rent-free office space to 29 nonprofits, and the Charitable Schools Program, which has involved over 400 Texas middle and high schools to develop a philanthropic spirit among youth. Meadows is also a big supporter of the armed forces, especially in the areas of psychological counseling, education, social services, housing and financial assistance.

Over the years, the bulk of Meadows support has been in the form of program support, followed closely by capital support and general operating support. In general, preference is given to capital projects that align with these priorities. The foundation also prefers to support construction and renovation projects that use green building guidelines to reduce water and energy consumption. The highest overall percentage of grants has been toward health causes lately, but the focus areas see a fairly even split from year to year. In a recent year, the foundation reported $714 million in assets, with an average grant size of $101,148.

The Meadows Foundation accepts grant proposals throughout the year, and there is no standard application form required. The grantmaking professionals here meet at least ten times per year to consider new applications, and grantees typically receive acknowledgment of their proposals within a week of submission.  Grant email correspondence can be sent to webgrants3003@mfi.org. 

Proposals should be addressed to Mr. Bruce H. Esterline, Vice President for Grants, The Meadows Foundation, 3003 Swiss Avenue, Dallas, TX, 75204. Program officers are trained to review all types of funding requests, so there aren’t specific officers assigned to the individual focus areas. General questions about grantmaking can be directed to the staff at 214-826-9431. 

PEOPLE:

  • Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only.)

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