St. David’s Foundation: Texas Grants

OVERVIEW: This is a Central Texas health funder that supports programs for older adults, health care education/careers, nutrition & physical activity, mental health, access to care for low-income residents, and dental services for children. The foundation gives about $50 million per year, and has awarded multi-million-dollar grants in the past.

FUNDING AREAS: Aging, health, mental health, dental health

IP TAKE: This is an approachable funder that encourages grantseekers to reach out to its program officers to determine eligibility.

PROFILE: Founded in 1996, the Austin-based St. David’s Foundation is a joint partner of St. David’s Health Care, which encompasses six hospitals, four surgery centers and two urgent care clinics in Central Texas. The proceeds of this partnership form the basis of the foundation’s grant distributions. With health-focused funding goals, the foundation collaborates with over 60 nonprofits partners in the area.

In a recent year, the foundation committed to give away over $50 million in grants to local agencies, safety net clinics and the dental program. All grantmaking is focused on Central Texas. There are six focus areas:

  • Healthy Aging – Supporting programs that maintain aging in place for older adults.
  • Healthy Futures – Providing funds for educational opportunities in health care research and health careers. 
  • Healthy Living – Promoting health and wellness through improved nutrition and physical activity. 
  • Healthy Minds – Supporting behavioral health programs in schools, health clinics and community nonprofits. 
  • Healthy People – Improving access to health care for low-income Central Texans. 
  • Healthy Smiles – Offering free dental services to children in six school districts and families at safety net clinics. 

In a recent grant cycle, the foundation gave $7.7 million to Austin-area nonprofits focused on the needs of local senior citizens. Grants fund caregiving, obesity prevention, capital projects, health care workforce development, and programs for local clinics. The foundation awarded another representative grant to Austin Clubhouse in the amount of $95,000 in mid-2015 to support capacity expansion efforts for the adult mental illness rehab program. The foundation made headlines with a record-setting $10 million grant to the Austin People’s Community Clinic, as well. Grantseekers can learn about other past grantees on the Meet Our Grant Partners page.

When asked about the theory of change behind St. David’s Foundation grantmaking, the foundation provided the following statement:

We have specific theories of change or logic models for each of our focus areas, but our overarching theory of change is that by investing deeply and for the long term in the strongest organizations that address the health of our community, we can have the greatest impact on improving health and healthcare in Central Texas. We support grant partners in a variety of ways: with programmatic funding to support their core mission, with capacity building support to strengthen their organizational fundamentals, and with data analytics assistance to help them use data to advance their mission. We recognize there are tools beyond grantmaking that Foundations can bring to the table and which can have an important impact in our community, such as convening and serving as a thought leader.

Healthy Minds, Healthy People and Healthy Smiles proposals are due January 15, and grants are awarded in June. Healthy Aging, Healthy Living and Healthy Futures proposals are due July 15, and grants are awarded in December. A majority of grants are made for either one- or two-year periods.

Grants are made by invitation only, but nonprofits can contact the relevant program officer to determine whether the organization or program is eligible for funding. The foundation awards health access grants to meet the needs in the six focus areas, and gives capital grants as one-time awards for new construction and infrastructure projects. In addition to 501(c) (3) organizations, St. David’s also considers grants for public schools, colleges and universities in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties. Grantseekers can find helpful sample application materials as a starting point on the foundation’s Apply for a Grant page.

To keep up with recent happenings, check out the St. David’s Foundation news page or follow the foundation on social media. General inquiries can be directed to (512) 879-6600 or


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