Moody Foundation: Texas Grants

OVERVIEW: The Moody Foundation was originally designed to support charitable causes in Galveston, but has more recently expanded to consider organizations in Austin and Dallas too. William Lewis Moody, Jr. was an American financier and entrepreneur from Galveston who founded a private bank, an insurance company, and also a charitable foundation. Most competitive Moody grants are about $25,000 each, and the foundation has been awarding around $50-70 million in grants each year.

FUNDING AREAS: Physical rehabilitation, historic restoration, children’s issues, environment, social services, arts education

IP TAKE: Nonprofit organizations are allowed to submit up to three projects for grant consideration at any given time. Although no more than one will be selected for further review, this is a great opportunity to toss a couple innovative ideas Moody’s way to see which one sticks. Grant inquiries are accepted all throughout the year.

PROFILE: William Lewis Moody Jr. and his wife, Libby Shearn Moody, established the Moody Foundation in 1942 to benefit present and future Texans. With roots in Galveston, Texas, William made his fortune by building newspapers, ranches, hotels and the American National Insurance Company, which formed the basis of the foundation’s assets. The Moody Foundation began operating on a larger scale in 1960 when William’s estate was transferred to the foundation and grantmaking spread throughout Texas. Early grants included disaster relief for the 1947 Texas City chemical explosion, the Galveston Historical Foundation, Shearn Moody Plaza, Galveston Island Musicals, and the Transitional Learning Center.

Today, the Moody Foundation has over $1 billion in assets and typically awards around $5-70 million in grants each year. As of the date this profile was updated, the foundation had awarded 3,737 grants totaling $1,307,616,000.

Grantmaking is limited to Texas, with a primary emphasis on foundation-initiated projects in Galveston. Two projects in particular, Moody Gardens and the Transitional Learning Center, a residential rehabilitation facility for the brain injured, account for a substantial portion of the available overall funding. However, Moody grantmaking is growing in the cities of Austin (emphasis on children’s issues and environmental projects) and Dallas (emphasis on social services and arts education).

Nonprofit organizations are allowed to submit up to three projects for grant consideration at any given time. Although no more than one will be selected for further review, this is a great opportunity to toss a couple innovative ideas Moody’s way to see which one sticks. Make sure to list your projects in order of priority so that they are reviewed in the best possible light.

Moody Foundation trustees meet at least four times each year to review grant applications, and the foundation welcomes grant inquires throughout the year. Almost all grants are awarded for one year at a time; however, the foundation has offered two and three-year support on rare occasions. Keep in mind that the process from inquiry submission to funding decision will likely take about six months.

Past grantees include the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation, Gleanings from the Harvest for Galveston, Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, and Hill Country Ride for AIDS. Most Moody grants are around $25,000 each, however, Moody Gardens, for example, has received multiple grants in the millions. Approximately 41 percent of grants go to community and social causes with 27 percent to education, 20 percent to health and science, and 12 percent to the arts, humanities and religion.

In addition to Moody’s grantmaking, the foundation also has been offering scholarships since 1969. Traditionally, these scholarships provided assistance to Galveston County high school students to attend college. Since 2004, the foundation expanded the scholarship program to include two high schools in Dallas, and two schools in Austin were added in 2011. Sixteen Texas schools are considered for Moody scholarships today and over $500,000 per year is committed to them.

To get in touch with either the main Galveston or the Dallas extension office, send an email to info@moodyf.org with general questions.

PEOPLE:

  • Frances Moody-Dahlberg, Executive Director
  • Allan Matthews, Grants Director
  • Bernice Torregrossa, Grants Officer, Central Texas, and Grants Analyst
  • Jamie G. Williams, Grants Officer, North Texas
  • Gerald Smith, Program Officer

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