Waco Foundation's Board of Trustees recognizes that the unprecedented need presented by COVID-19 presents significant challenges to our local nonprofit sector and the community. 

The Foundation remains committed to previous investments related to well-vetted Foundation priorities which are already funded as initiatives of the Board of Trustees.  The new Discretionary Grant Guidelines for FYE2021 were developed in response to the Waco Foundation’s mission of promoting solutions to community challenges with the initial focus on the most vulnerable populations. Waco Foundation will continue to adhere to its mission, vision, and values, but expects to accommodate a wide variety of requests to address large scale and serious needs that are outside traditional grants and programming. 

Support Options for Eligible, Charitable 501(c)(3) Nonprofits

The Foundation will suspend its plans for a traditional grant cycle (and traditional requests) for FYE2021 until it is clear that emergency resources are no longer needed. Instead, the Foundation will offer the following in three phases:

Phase 1 - To Begin April 23 (by invitation only)

Safety Net Distributors & Support Services  (grants of up to $25,000):

The Foundation will offer operating support grants/contracts to select eligible emergency care organizations whose demand for services has remained consistent or increased as a result of COVID-19.  These grants are offered on an invitation only basis.  For more information, read the Safety Net Distributors and Support Services Guidelines.

Repayable Grants (Bridging Capital):

The Foundation will offer bridging capital to safety net and support service providers that have applied, or are in the process of applying, for assistance through the CARES Act bill or the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (or both) and/or are the regular recipient of other funding/ contracts for services.  The Foundation estimates that loan funds will range between $5,000 –$25,000, but has the discretion to vary these amounts.  These grants are offered on an invitation only basis.  For more information, read the Repayable Grants Guidelines

Phase 2 – To Begin by May 30

Critical Needs Small Grants (grants of up to $5,000):

The Foundation will offer grants to smaller organizations that have temporarily put more than 80% of their operations on hold/cannot act due to the nature of COVID-19 and engagement restrictions. Small nonprofits are defined as those with one to three staff members and an annual budget of $60,000 or less.

Critical Needs Medium Sized Grants (grants may vary based on organization’s situation, maximum is $25,000):

All other nonprofits that do not fit the aforementioned granting categories are eligible to submit a request for funding via the Critical Needs Funding Program.  Funds may be used to address general operating and capacity building support needs, including some IT products that may be needed for remote work, etc.

Fore more information, read the Critical Grants Guidelines.  

Capacity Building Support

The Foundation will also maintain its regular capacity building program which is designed to offer situation specific professional and organization supports to key staff and board members. Capacity Building support funding from this category may not exceed $2,000 and award amounts are dependent on the number of requests received.  Fore more information, read the Capacity Building Grants Guidelines

Phase 3 – To Begin approximately July 1

As need and funding exists, Waco Foundation will consider:

  • Additional Critical Needs Grants for organizations that provide relief for individuals  (once direct federal support has been expended)
  • Additional repayable loans (bridging capital) to nonprofits

Grant applications are available for review on the Foundation's online grant application portal.  As Phase I funding is by invitation only, Foundation staff will connect with potential applicants about submitting a request for funding. If you have questions about the process, please contact Nicole Wynter, Senior Director of Community Investment and Operations, at nwynter@wacofoundation.org