Parks for Downtown Dallas / Belo Foundation: Southwest Grants

OVERVIEW: This funder has traditionally supported college-level journalism programs, but is shifting its focus to urban green spaces and city park expansion. Most giving is centered on Dallas.

FUNDING AREAS: Urban parks and green spaces, college-level journalism education

IP TAKE: This funder doesn’t award a ton of grants, but the grants they do award are often huge. Parks in Dallas are a big deal to this funder, so find a way to tie your program into community and civic engagement in the city’s parks.

PROFILE: A.H. Belo began as a Texas newspaper company in Galveston and has been known for its strong regional focus and journalistic reputation. Daily newspapers include the Dallas Morning News and the Denton Record Chronicle. The newspaper company established a philanthropic foundation in 1952, which was previously named the G.B. Dealey Foundation and then the Dallas Morning News-WFAA Foundation and the A.H. Belo Corporation Foundation. It was known simply as the Belo Foundation since 2000, and awarded over $40 million in grants in its first 60+ years of grantmaking. 

Belo Corporation was sold to Gannett Co., Inc. in 2013, which funded the foundation’s endowment. In October 2015, the foundation made an announcement that it would be changing its name to Parks for Downtown Dallas and devoted its future giving to local urban parks.

Grantmaking areas of interest have been the development of urban parks and green spaces and college-level journalism education. However, in October 2015, the foundation revealed a shift in its overall strategy to become a more parks-focused funder. The bulk of grantmaking has always stayed in Dallas, where the company was founded and where the foundation is headquartered.

Signature projects include lead gifts to the University of Texas at Austin College of Communication to establish the Belo Center for New Media, to the Division of Journalism at Southern Methodist University in Dallas to assist in the development of its applied journalism program, and funding to design and construct new parks in downtown Dallas. Other recent and major gifts can be viewed on the foundation website.

The foundation is controlled by four trustees who are or were officers of the company. There are two staff members who run day-to-day operations: Vice President and Executive Director Amy M. Meadows and Office Manager and Senior Executive Assistant Jan Tallichet.

The trustees meet twice a year; however, grant requests are accepted at all times and processed upon receipt. Be prepared to wait several months for processing. The foundation doesn’t make many grants in a given year, but they're almost always targeted at the funder’s two areas of interests: urban parks and college journalism. General questions or inquiries about your grant request should be directed to VP/ED Amy M. Meadows at 214-977-8267 or via email at ameadows@ahbelo.com.

PEOPLE:

  • Amy M. Meadows, Vice President & Executive Director
  • Jan Tallichet, Senior Executive Assistant

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