Grants Overview

Please read the Foundation's messages regarding COVID-19.

COVID UPDATE: In an effort to best respond to current community and nonprofit needs, The George Foundation is temporarily revising our Grantmaking Program. Please read to ensure you meet eligibility criteria before starting a new request:

1) From May 1-July 31, 2020, we will not be reviewing any new Letters of Inquiry or Applications from organizations that have not been funded by us within the last 3 years (2017-2020). If you are unsure whether your organization meets this criteria, we encourage you to log into the online grants portal and review information under your organization's account.

2) If your organization has already started or submitted a Letter of Inquiry or Application as of April 30, we will continue to process it.

3) From May 1-July 31, 2020, we will not be reviewing any Letters of Inquiry or Applications related to capital projects.

Thank you for your understanding during these unprecedented times. We remain committed to supporting the people of Fort Bend County and have been working with the many wonderful nonprofits serving locally during this crisis. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us at grants@thegeorgefoundation.org.


The George Foundation Trustees and Staff serve the residents of Fort Bend County by aligning the Foundation’s vision with that of our founders, Albert and Mamie George. The Foundation’s grant making furthers our mission to partner with the community to leverage the Foundation’s resources to positively impact Fort Bend County and its residents. Grants are made in pursuit of our vision of a thriving nonprofit sector that addresses critical community needs, enhances the quality of life and provides opportunities for Fort Bend County residents. The Foundation has launched our new Strategic Plan (2020-2024) and released an updated Fort Bend Community Needs Assessment (2019). We encourage review of these documents, which provide additional insights into our current priorities and the community needs we are working to address.

As a place-based grantmaker, our funding is focused on efforts specifically benefiting Fort Bend County and its residents.

Our funding issue areas encompass:

  • Education
  • Health
  • Human Needs
  • Community Enhancement

In addition to funding these issue areas, the Foundation also supports certain Special Programs and Initiatives in response to compelling community needs. The Foundation provides an average of $15 million annually in grants as well as community programming in support of the Fort Bend County region.

View our past grantees for examples of previous grants made. 

Grant Strategy

The George Foundation’s goal is to be responsive to the needs of the residents and communities within a rapidly growing and changing county. The grantmaking strategy of the Foundation is to support the nonprofit sector in providing critical services and opportunities so that all residents can experience a positive quality of life.

The Foundation seeks to leverage our support to the local community and encourages collaborative partnerships that bring together multiple resources to address community needs. The Foundation also strives to invest in organizations and programs that have a demonstrable impact on the community.

The Foundation currently considers the following types of requests:

  • General Operating Grants
  • Program or Project Grants

Please note that Capital Project Grants are awarded on a very selective basis, with an emphasis on projects that strongly align with the Foundation’s grants strategy and demonstrate a compelling opportunity to directly and deeply impact Fort Bend Co. residents.

Our funding issue areas encompass:

EDUCATION

including Career Readiness, Dropout Prevention, Early Childhood, High Performing Public Education Models, K-12 Public Education, Literacy and Parenting Education. Our priority areas of funding for Education include Career Readiness, Early Childhood and High Performing Public Education Models.

HEALTH

including Addiction Prevention & Intervention, Access to Care for Uninsured, Behavioral Health, Services to Special Populations. Our priority areas of funding for Health include Access to Care for Uninsured and Behavioral Health.

HUMAN NEEDS

including Abuse/Neglect Prevention & Intervention, Affordable Housing, Basic Needs, Homeless/Housing Assistance, Law/Legal, Senior Services, Services to Special Populations and Youth Development. Our priority areas of funding for Human Needs include Affordable Housing and Youth Development. 

COMMUNITY ENHANCEMENT

including efforts that enrich the tapestry of Fort Bend County, such as Civic Engagement and Volunteerism, Libraries and Museums, Parks and Recreation, Performing, Visual & Cultural Arts. Please note that the majority of the Foundation’s grants support Education, Health and Human Needs efforts, with a smaller portion awarded to Community Enhancement.

A variety of factors are taken into consideration when reviewing applications for funding, including whether the request demonstrates:

  • A focus on meeting a critical need in Fort Bend County.
  • A strong alignment with the Foundation’s grant strategy.
  • The organization has leadership and staff in place to effectively implement the proposed activities.
  • The organization has sufficient resources, financial and otherwise, to ensure the activities can be implemented as proposed.
  • A clear evaluation plan which includes measurable outcomes that can be tracked and reported.

Lastly, the Foundation receives far more requests than can be funded each year. Trustees must make difficult decisions in order to ensure the Foundation’s resources can be maximized to achieve the greatest level of impact in meeting our mission of serving Fort Bend County. Please note that a decision by the Foundation to decline a request does not reflect on the merits of the applicant or the value of the proposal.

View our past grantees for examples of previous grants made. 

Grant Staff is always open to assisting Applicants and Grantees with questions regarding the grantmaking program, from application to reporting. Please contact us at grants@thegeorgefoundation.org or 281-342-6109.

Grant Eligibility

What We Fund

Basic Eligibility

To be eligible to apply, an organization must:

  • be tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) and further classified as a public charity under section 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, or be tax exempt under section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • provide programs or services that benefit Fort Bend County residents
  • meet the Foundation’s funding issue areas
  • demonstrate the proposed activities are in response to a documented community need
  • be in compliance with the Foundation on all previous grants

What We Don't Fund

Ineligible Applications

The George Foundation does not typically accept applications from the following:

  • Organizations that do not have a current Internal Revenue Service 501(c)(3) determination letter or equivalent
  • Organizations that do not specifically provide programs or services that benefit Fort Bend County residents
  • Churches or other organized religious bodies
  • Re-granting organizations, i.e. organizations that distribute money to recipients of its own selection
  • Religious or private schools
  • Individual K-12 public schools
  • Fraternal organizations
  • Individuals
  • Institutions that discriminate on the basis of race, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability or sexual orientation in policy or in practice.

The George Foundation does not typically accept applications for the following types of requests:

  • Endowments
  • Direct mail campaigns
  • Loans or debt reduction
  • Research or studies
  • Regional, national or international programming
  • Development of films, videos, books or other media projects
  • Purchase of special event tickets, tables or advertisements
  • Sponsorships for events, workshops, fairs, festivals, etc.
  • Travel or fees for conferences, seminars, conventions, performances, or competitions
  • Grants that impose expenditure responsibility on the Foundation
  • Political interests of any kind

View our past grantees for examples of previous grants made.

Grant Staff is always open to assisting Applicants and Grantees with questions regarding the grantmaking program, from application to reporting. Please contact us at grants@thegeorgefoundation.org or 281-342-6109.

Grant Process

The George Foundation strives to abide by grantmaking practices that result in more efficient and effective grantmaking and strengthened funder-grantee relationships. The following grant processes are efforts to minimize burdens on grantseekers, enabling them to spend more time on mission.

Before Applying

PLEASE THINK THROUGH YOUR REQUEST TO SEE IF IT MEETS THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:

  • Does it meet the Foundation’s basic grant eligibility guidelines?
  • Is it focused on meeting a critical need in Fort Bend County?
  • Is it strongly aligned with the Foundation’s grant strategy?
  • Does your organization have the leadership and staff in place to effectively implement the proposed activities?
  • Does your organization have sufficient resources, financial and otherwise, to ensure the activities can be implemented as proposed?
  • Does your request contain a clear evaluation plan which includes measurable outcomes that can be tracked and reported?

PLEASE CONTACT US:

The George Foundation strongly encourages applicants that are new to us, or that have not been funded by the Foundation for some time, to first contact Grant Staff to discuss your request. Grant Staff is always open to assisting Applicants and Grantees with questions regarding the grantmaking program. Please contact us at grants@thegeorgefoundation.org or 281-342-6109.

PLEASE USE THE ONLINE PORTAL:

The Foundation receives applications and reports through an online grants portal. If you do not already have an account with this system, we suggest that you visit the links below to view both the YouTube video and PDF document to become acquainted with the system prior to setting up an account:

For tips on using the system, watch our video tutorial or download our application tutorial document.

APPLICATION DEADLINES

We no longer have quarterly application deadlines. Our annual LOI and Application Cycles are open from November 1-October 31 each year. LOIs and Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

The Review & Due Diligence Process

What to expect during the review process:

  • Once your application has been submitted, you will receive a confirmation of receipt via email.
  • A target timeline for review of your application will also be communicated.
  • As part of the due diligence process, Grant Staff may contact you with questions concerning the application and your organization.
  • Grant Staff will also contact you to schedule a site visit, should one be needed. The site visit is a chance for the Applicant and the Foundation to learn more about each other and discuss the proposed request. Site visits take approximately an hour and a half and typically involves the Applicant’s chief executive officer, representatives of the board and key program staff (if applicable).
  • Upon completion of application review, Grant Staff will present the request for consideration at a scheduled monthly Trustee Meeting.
  • Determinations on applications are generally made within 2-4 months of receipt.

What to expect after a disposition on the request has been made:

  • Please note that all decisions are made by the Foundation’s Trustees.
  • If the request is approved, the organization will receive a Grant Contract via email outlining the terms and conditions of the grant.
  • Once the Grant Contract has been executed by the organization’s board chair and chief executive officer and returned to the Foundation, grant payment(s) will be scheduled.
  • If a request is declined, the organization will receive a declination letter via email. Please note that a decision by the Foundation not to fund a request does not reflect on the merits of the Applicant or the value of the proposal.
  • Typically, all organizations, whether approved or declined, must wait one year to reapply for funding.

The Grant Monitoring & Reporting Process

Throughout the term of the grant, Foundation Staff and Grantee will remain in contact to ensure appropriate communication of organizational and programmatic updates. We encourage Grantees to add Grant Staff to email and mailing distribution lists to receive updates, as we are open to regular email or phone contacts to keep us apprised of the organization and grant. We ask you to inform the Foundation of organizational changes, whether significant or small, including changes in key personnel or contact information.

The Foundation recognizes that some plans, despite being well conceived, may not go as expected. In the event your organization wishes to make any changes that will materially alter the scope, timeline or nature of the grant as originally proposed and for which the grant was awarded, you must first submit a written request for a Grant Amendment. Written approval must be obtained from the Foundation prior to the implementation of any changes or the grant may be rescinded. Please contact Grant Staff to discuss any grant amendments.

To give Grantees an opportunity to convey information that captures the work accomplished in serving the community, the Foundation requests each Grantee to report on the activities, outputs and outcomes achieved during the grant timeframe, comparing actual achievements with stated targets. The grant report provides an opportunity for you to document your organization’s achievements, challenges and lessons learned. Your report also allows the Foundation to share the impact of your work with our Trustees and the community-at-large. Finally, grant reports enable the Foundation to learn from the work of our grantees, adjust grantmaking strategies accordingly and fulfill the Foundation’s duty as stewards of the funds invested in our community.

All Grantees are required to submit a Final Grant Report; others may be required to submit Progress Report(s) along with a Final Grant Report, depending on the scope of the grant. For your convenience, report due dates are listed in the Grant Contract, and a reminder email will be sent to Grantees in advance of a due date. Grant Report forms will be available for submission through the online grants portal.

Grant Staff is always open to assisting Applicants and Grantees with questions regarding the grantmaking program. Please contact us at grants@thegeorgefoundation.org or 281-342-6109.

Apply

Before submitting an application to the Foundation, please review our Grants Strategy, Eligibility Criteria, Grants Process and Frequently Asked Questions sections. If, after reviewing these sections, you believe your request is a good fit for our Foundation, please continue by clicking on the red button in the sidebar to enter our online grants portal.

LOIS & Applications

ORGANIZATIONS MUST COMPLETE A LETTER OF INQUIRY (LOI) AS A REQUIRED FIRST STEP IN THE APPLICATION PROCESS:

Once your LOI is submitted, you will receive a confirmation of receipt via email. After the LOI has been reviewed by the Foundation, the organization will be notified via email on whether a full application is invited or declined. Determinations on LOIs are generally made within 1-2 months of receipt. If a full application is invited, organizations should be prepared to submit the application within 2 months from the date of the LOI approval.

To begin the Letter of Inquiry process, visit our online grants portal.

ABOUT THE SMALL GRANT APPLICATION

In an effort to remain a responsive and open foundation, we have a Small Grant Application process that serves to increase access to the Foundation for small and developing groups and to help strengthen their capacity. The Small Grant process is not only an option for small organizations but may also be used by larger organizations that may only need to request a small grant to carry out critical programs. The program is a good opportunity for organizations to introduce themselves to the Foundation and allows us to expand the availability of our resources to nonprofits and communities within Fort Bend County that we might not otherwise reach. We believe that these grants provide important support for much needed services to diverse communities throughout the County.

GUIDELINES

  • The Small Grant Application is available to organizations applying for a single-year grant of $25,000 or less.
  • Applicants must meet the Foundation’s funding strategy and eligibility criteria.
  • A Letter of Inquiry is the first step in the process for submitting an Application.
  • To begin the Application process, visit our online grants portal.

ABOUT THE OPERATING OR PROGRAM/PROJECT GRANT APPLICATION

The George Foundation continues to fund requests for General Operating and Program grants, as well as special Project grant requests. If you are requesting an amount greater than $25,000, please apply using either the Operating or Program/Project Grant Applications.

GUIDELINES

  • The Operating or Program/Project Grant Application is available to organizations applying for a grant larger than $25,000.
  • Applicants must meet the Foundation’s funding strategy and eligibility criteria.
  • A Letter of Inquiry is the first step in the process for submitting an Application.
  • To begin the Application process, visit our online grants portal.

Grant Staff is always open to assisting Applicants and Grantees with questions regarding the grantmaking program. Please contact us at grants@thegeorgefoundation.org or 281-342-6109.