Types Of Investments

Houston Endowment makes grants for a wide range of purposes to organizations and entities serving greater Houston.

Houston Endowment makes six general types of investments. Most commonly, applications to the Foundation are for General Operating Support or toward Project Support for a specific project or onetime event. Houston Endowment also considers grants toward Capital Improvement, Building Capacity, Public Policy and Engagement, and Research. Applying organizations will need to select the application that fits the type of grant they seek.

A brief description of each investment type can be found below, with links to more detailed descriptions and application questions. Potential applicants should note that the application questions for each grant type are one part of a broader application process; applicants may be asked to provide further information or respond to additional questions as part of the Foundation’s comprehensive due diligence process. (See "How to Apply" for additional information on the grant application process.)

  • General Operating Support: General Operating Support grants are unrestricted funds for organizations that both are strongly aligned with the program goals of the Foundation and operate with ambitious, clearly defined strategic priorities.
  • Project Support: Project Support grants are for programs or projects that have a verifiable record of success clearly leading to measurable results. Existing programs, expanding programs, new programs and onetime projects are eligible.
  • Capital Improvement: Capital Improvement grants are for the acquisition, construction or improvement of a physical asset that is critical in order to obtain demonstrably better results for the people the organization serves.
  • Building Capacity: Building Capacity grants are for efforts intended to strengthen organizations by expanding institutional knowledge, skills or abilities that will be maintained over time. These efforts must ultimately lead to demonstrably better results for the people the organization serves.
  • Public Policy and Engagement: Public Policy and Engagement grants are for efforts intended to inform public decision-making and improve the public’s ability to address a specific issue affecting a clearly defined population. Examples include community engagement activities, efforts to educate stakeholders and policymakers, and public awareness initiatives. At a minimum applications must demonstrate that the proposed effort is well researched, aligned with other work in the field and will clearly lead to benefits for the defined population.
  • Research: Research grants are for investigations that provide actionable data on a particular field through objective analysis of a specific system, issue or condition that affects greater Houston. Examples include sociological studies or educational attainment research. At a minimum applications must demonstrate that the proposed research is rigorously designed and will have the potential to make a significant impact on the system, issue or condition being investigated.
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