Houston Endowment accepts applications from eligible organizations through five programs: Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Health and Human Services.

Houston Endowment is primarily interested in the results that the applicant expects to achieve and the compatibility of those goals with the Foundation's mission to enhance the vibrancy of greater Houston and advance equity of opportunity for those who live here.

Program officers conduct due diligence on each grant application in order to learn more about the organization or entity requesting funding and the nature of the request. Recommendations are voted on by the Foundation Board during four grantmaking meetings throughout the calendar year.

When making funding decisions, Houston Endowment considers the applicant's capacity to produce measurable, long-term impact. The Foundation additionally considers a number of organizational characteristics, including:

  • Evidence of effective leadership and governance
  • Commitment to the careful definition and tracking of results, and to learning from them
  • Evidence of sustainability for ongoing programs
  • Evidence that onetime events or projects of short duration are aligned with the organization's core purpose and competencies
  • Commitment to sharing of information and results with related organizations that may benefit from them

Given the large number of proposals received and limited dollars available, Houston Endowment must make difficult choices among worthy requests. Applicants should be aware that even strong proposals may not receive funding from the Foundation.

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