Waco Foundation engages in both proactive and responsive grantmaking activities. The proactive grantmaking is largely implemented through staff-led initiatives and the work of select community partners. All grantmaking decisions are based on community-wide impact of improving local quality of life.
The competitive grants process was designed to help ensure the Foundation remains inclusive with regard to the causes, concerns and perspectives of area nonprofits, and responsive to the financial challenges they face.
Waco Foundation gives priority consideration to the activities noted below.
- Fostering more racially equitable experiences and outcomes for area residents
- Helping people leave poverty permanently. As an example, priority will be given to supporting the most focused, cost-effective methods of:
- Significantly reducing teen pregnancy
- Significantly increasing graduation rates from high school, technical school, community college and college
- Supporting valuable projects that are:
- Interesting, unique, and energizing; and which seek to make Waco a vibrant, inclusive and attractive community
- Considered to be critical components and high priorities of the entire community
- Increasing the capacity of McLennan County’s nonprofit sector and the ability of the community-at-large, to address challenges:
- Strengthening nonprofit sustainability
- Helping local organizations collaborate
- Increasing leadership capacity and pathways
- Funding organizations that provide support and service to our most vulnerable residents – people in poverty, people with disabilities, the elderly, children and youth.
The following grant programs are available to McLennan County-based nonprofits for FYE2023:
Program/Operating Support Grants are intended for agencies whose programs or services give attention to identifying and addressing the root causes of area challenges, including the social drivers or determinants that foster, create or reinforce inequitable outcomes and experiences.
- Maximum award amount: varies
- Applications accepted: May 1, October 30
Capital Expenses Support Grants help cover costs related to select, small office equipment, building equipment, building renovation and/or construction costs, and select vehicle purchases (the Foundation does not award grants for passenger vehicles).
Small Capital Grants: Will be awarded in keeping with the uses noted above. While the Foundation will accept applications from a variety of nonprofits, the highest priority consideration will be given to human services, youth-serving and arts/cultural organizations needing capital assistance.
- Maximum award amount: $40,000
- Applications accepted: May 1, July 1, October 30, January 1
Large Capital Grants: can be used to support building acquisition, construction, renovation, or rehabilitation. Applicants for Large Capital Grants are expected to have secured 60% of their necessary funding before approaching the Foundation with a request.
- Maximum award amount: varies, but greater than $40,000
- Applications accepted: By invitation only – May 1, October 30
Immediate Impact Grants are intended to provide program, operating or capital support to a wide range of area nonprofits. The Foundation offers support in three primary areas:
- To civic-grassroots groups and nonprofits working to provide support to traditionally marginalized or under-invested communities (in keeping with recognized CDBG recipient areas) through efforts that help enhance the attractiveness and vitality of targeted neighborhoods, and foster community engagement and development among those population groups.
- To nonprofits that provide support and service to our most vulnerable residents, including people in poverty, people with disabilities, the elderly, children, and youth.
- To nonprofits that work to help foster an inclusive, attractive community for residents and visitors alike. Under special circumstances, the Foundation will accept requests from Taxing Entities (e.g. school districts).
- Maximum award amount: $5,000
- Applications accepted: May 1, July 1, October 30, January 1
Critical Needs Grant Program is designed to provide short-term, situation-specific funding for nonprofits experiencing operating challenges due to unforeseen emergencies or urgent needs. With a relatively small amount of funding, these loans or grants help an organization manage an unbudgeted, unforeseen, and time-sensitive opportunity or emergency that will enhance or preserve the ability of the organization to meet its mission.
- Maximum award amount: $25,000
- By Invitation Only - Applications accepted: May 1, July 1, October 30, January 1
Grant applications are open 6-7 weeks prior to their respective deadlines. For more information, check out our Grantmaking Information Packet. Nonprofits may also preview the program summary and application for each active grant program here.
Nonprofits are asked to contact Nicole Wynter to discuss their project, before initiating a grant application.
Statement about Our Grant Applications:
Over the last several years, Waco Foundation has been on a journey to expand our understanding of racial inequity; the ways that a person’s race may influence their opportunities, experiences, and outcomes, and how those same factors affect our ability to help ensure equitable quality of life experiences for all McLennan County residents.
Waco Foundation has prioritized an effort to increase our collective understanding in the area of race equity. We believe that a better understanding of this area will improve our ability to accomplish our Vision Statement effectively.
One of the ways we are beginning to apply our learnings is in modifications to our grant applications. Asking questions to better understand the diversity of the organizations we support helps us to accomplish our mission more equitably. In this way, we send the message to the grantee that we consider equity an important organizational advantage and that we are available to support their efforts.
The questions in our grant applications help us understand if and how area agencies are learning about and engaging around the issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. While we have chosen to prioritize making grants to agencies that take a race equity lens to their work, we remain committed to being a community foundation that meets people and organizations where they are in their racial equity journey and, as such, do welcome applications from those whose position on the topic may differ from ours. We encourage applicants to connect with Waco Foundation grantmaking staff to learn more.
To learn more about our grantmaking practices, we encourage you to read the Grantmaking Information Packet. For more information about the online application process, please watch this video tutorial. Refer to the Organizational Readiness Checklist to determine if your nonprofit is ready to apply for funding. Read the Grantmaking with a Racial Equity Lens for more information about Waco Foundation's efforts to foster a racial equity culture.
How to Apply
- Access the online grant application portal to begin work on or complete an application.
- Preview the application.
Waco Foundation provides nearly $1,000,000 in competitive grants and capacity building services to over 100 local nonprofits every year.
Here to help
Contact Nicole Wynter, Senior Director of Community Investment and Operations