Waco Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports groups in Waco and McLennan County working to help people in poverty, people with disabilities, the elderly, and children and youth. It also is committed to nonprofit capacity building.

FUNDING AREAS: Children and youth, poverty, people with disabilities, the elderly, nonprofit capacity building

IP TAKE:  Pitch an idea that brings awareness to an issue that’s being overlooked in the community. Cooperation among multiple nonprofit agencies is strongly encouraged here.  

PROFILE: Based in Waco, Texas, the Waco Foundation aims to improve the quality of life in McLennan County. The foundation was established in 1958, largely due to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. R. B. Parrott, Stephen Goldstein, and Lyle Kay Masterson.

In a recent year, the foundation had over $71 million in assets under management and authorized over $3.3 million in grants. There are about 193 funds here, with an average fund size of $369,427. Current financial data can be viewed here. A list of the Waco Foundation funds can be found here.

The Waco Foundation awards discretionary grants with a competitive process throughout the year. Only nonprofits in the Waco-McLennan County, Texas, area can receive these grants.

Overcoming poverty is one goal at Waco Foundation, with a focus on teen pregnancy and graduation from high school and college. It also funds projects that make Waco a more vibrant and attractive community. Another goal is to boost capacity of the local nonprofit sector by encouraging collaboration, making groups sustainable, and improving leadership. Through its Immediate Impact Grants, the Waco Foundation funds local groups that assist people in poverty, people with disabilities, the elderly, and children and youth.  

The application process is all online, and you can preview an application before getting started. Capital, program, and operating support grants are all awarded here. Deadlines are rolling, so you can submit an application at any time. Requests received by April are reviewed by June 1, by June 1 for review August 1, by September 1 for review December 1, by November 1 for review February 1, and by January 15 for review April 1.

In 2009, the foundation established its capacity building program to support local nonprofits. And in 2011, it launched its SmartBabies Early Childhood Initiative to benefit local children. Nearly half of women in McLennan County have their first baby at the age of 20 or younger. Therefore, the goals of this initiative are to promote awareness of early childhood development, keep an inventory of relevant resources for parents, and improve the quality of life for babies in the county.  

Sign up for email updates on the funder’s website. The office phone is 254-754-3404. An executive director leads about nine full-time and 10 part-time foundation employees. Ashley Allison is the executive director and has extensive experience in the public housing and community foundation fields. The best contact about grant applications is Nichole Wynter, the director of grants and capacity building

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