Wichita Falls Area Community Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports 13 counties in Texas and four border counties in Oklahoma. Broad interests are arts and culture, education, environment, historic preservation, health, and human services.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts and culture, education, environment, historic preservation, health, human services

IP TAKE: The annual community unrestricted grant cycle is the best place for first-time grantseekers. Pretty much any nonprofit need is worth pitching.

PROFILE: The Wichita Falls Area Community Foundation is based in Wichita Falls, Texas, and dates back to 1999. It is a collection of charitable funds benefiting the local area. Its broad grantmaking interests include arts, culture, education, environment, historic preservation, health, and human services. Its geographic focus in Texas are the counties of Archer, Baylor, Clay, Foard, Hardeman, Haskell, Jack, Knox, Montague, Throckmorton, Wichita, Wilbarger and Young. It also serves the Oklahoma border counties of Jackson, Tillman, Cotton and Jefferson.

There is a community unrestricted grant program here on an annual cycle with letters of intent due November 15 and grant applications due December 15. There is only one unrestricted grant cycle per year; a letter of intent is required and accessible online. These grant awards are distributed in April. There is a one-year waiting period between the date of receiving a grant before a subsequent request may be considered.

Typically, the foundation distributes $50,000 to $100,000 in unrestricted grants each year. Recent recipients include the Floral Heights Community Food Pantry, Child Care Inc., Clay County Senior Citizens and the Wichita Falls Ballet Theatre. Previous awards are posted here.

WFACF also manages the Burkburnett Legacy Foundation, a family of charitable funds that awards scholarships to Burkburnett students, and grants to nonprofits in Burkburnett, and surrounding community causes. The annual grant cycle deadline for nonprofits is January 31, and the deadline for teachers is October 1.

Meanwhile, the Royal B. Kinder Fund supports nonprofits in Archer County and has an application deadline of May 1. Texoma Gives is an online giving day that includes nonprofits in a 24-county service area. WFACF fund holders make recommendations for donor-advised grants; grantseekers cannot directly apply for them.

A list of current funds held at WFACF is here. Community funds accept donations for animals, arts, disaster, education, environment, health, seniors, youth and volunteer fire departments. The foundation awards a volunteer fire department grant and scholarships to local students.

Teresa Pontius-Caves is foundation president. There is also a program manager, office manager, and finance coordinator. The board of directors usually has about 20 members. The program manager, Julie Looper, is a good contact for grantseekers, at jlooper@wfacf.org. The foundation phone is 940-766-0829. It's at 2405 Kell Boulevard, Suite 100, Wichita Falls, Texas 76308.

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