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Friday, January 19, 2018

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Texas Pioneer Foundation awards $152,000
Association of Small Foundations

March, 2010

Texas Pioneer Foundation, an ASF member based in San Marcos, Texas, has awarded ASF a two-year, $152,000 grant to support a new project — Enhancing the Effectiveness of Education Grantmaking in Texas. ASF’s research, planning, and implementation will yield knowledge and tools to help education grantmakers throughout Texas. The results will benefit a vast and diverse number of schools, students, teachers, programs, and communities for years to come.

Well over 2,000 Texas foundations — nearly half of all Texas grantmakers — give to education in some way, and each of them wants to make a positive difference with that funding. The new project will move them toward that goal by addressing a number of questions, such as:

  • What should they look for and ask when they are choosing among many apparently worthy grantees and programs, deciding on grant amounts, and reviewing grant reports or renewal applications?
  • If their assets have declined, how can they keep supporting the education grantees they care about?
  • Should they consider collaborations with other funders, and encourage collaboration among the nonprofits they support?
  • Why and how should they evaluate the impact of their grants?

ASF is excited about this project both because of the direct impact it will have in Texas and because education is by far the largest funding area for ASF’s members in general. Among the 814 members who submitted surveys for our 2009-2011 Foundation Operations & Management Report, education funding accounts for 30.8 percent of all grantmaking. (The next highest is human services, at 18.5 percent.) Moreover, in education funding—as in all areas of foundation grantmaking—a desire for effectiveness and impact is stronger than ever.

The intersection of these two factors—foundations seeking to maximize the impact of their education grantmaking—is something that fits beautifully with ASF’s mission. We are grateful to Texas Pioneer for its vision and support, and we look forward to embarking on the project.

If your foundation is interested in partnering with ASF on a topical program please contact Melissa Nussbaum at (202) 580-6564 or


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