Waco Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Waco Foundation supports groups in the Waco-McLennan County area 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 is being overlooked in the community. Cooperation among multiple nonprofit agencies is strongly encouraged here.  

PROFILE: Established in 1958 and based in Waco, Texas, the Waco Foundation aims to improve the quality of life in McLennan County. The foundation exists largely due to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. R. B. Parrott, Stephen Goldstein, and Lyle Kay Masterson. There are over 200 funds here, with an average fund size of over $400,000. Grantmaking areas of interest include children and youth, poverty, people with disabilities, the elderly, and nonprofit capacity building.

The Waco Foundation awards discretionary grants with a competitive process throughout the year. A list of the Waco Foundation funds can be found here. 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. 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. 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. 

The size of foundation grants varies based upon the fund they come from. The funder does not have an online grants database on its website. Only nonprofits in the Waco-McLennan County, Texas, area can receive discretionary grants. Overall, the funder provides capital, program, and operating support.

This community funder accepts unsolicited grant applications from nonprofits. The application process is all online, and grantseekers can preview an application before getting started. Deadlines are rolling, so grantseekers can submit an application at any time. The foundation reviews requests received by July 1 before October and ones received by January 1 before April.   The office phone is 254-754-3404, and staff email addresses are listed on the funder’s website.

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