Grant Guidelines

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Grant Administration

  • The Cullen Foundation accepts online grant applications only.
  • Grants are restricted to organizations located in Texas for programs in Texas with a strong preference for initiatives in the greater Houston area.
  • The Foundation supports a variety of charitable activities, including cultural arts, education, health care and public service programs.
  • Grant requests will be considered only from (i) a tax exempt organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) and further classified as a public charity, that is, an organization which is not a “Private Foundation” within the meaning of Section 509(a) of the Code or (ii) a governmental unit described in or Section 170 of the Code.
  • The Foundation does not make grants to businesses or individuals nor does it make loans of any type.
  • Grant applications are accepted online throughout the year for review by the Board of Directors. The process generally takes several months therefore applicants should plan accordingly if funding is desired by a certain date.

The Board Prefers Not to Consider

  • Galas, testimonials, and various other types of fund raising events.
  • Organizations that in turn make grants to others.
  • Activities whose sole purpose is the promotion or support of a specific religion, denomination or church.
  • Purchase of uniforms, equipment, or trips for school related organizations or amateur sports teams.
  • Applications from an organization more frequently than once every twelve months. The twelve-month period starts on the date of the last grant payment if approved or the date the last grant was declined.
  • Applications from an organization that has received a multi-year grant from the Foundation until twelve months after all payments of that grant have been made.

Submitting Reports Required by Grant Letters

Recipient organizations must submit reports required under their respective grant agreements (e.g. Audited Financial Statements, IRS Form 990 or progress reports), via the online portal. For assistance please contact Gina McEvily, Grant Administrator, at Please do not mail printed copies of these reports.

Online Application

The following information is required to submit an online application:

Organization – Background Information

  1. Organization name, address, email and phone number; legal name; Tax ID number; and a copy of the IRS determination letter that verifies the requesting organization’s tax status. If the Organization is out of state, please provide evidence of compliance with the registration requirements of the Texas Business Organization Code.
  2. A letter of application must be submitted on the organization’s letterhead by the chief executive officer (e.g., President, Executive Director) and should include a statement that the CEO has seen and approved the request, and endorses the request as a priority. Higher education requests must be submitted by the highest governing authority of the school or of the system, if applicable.
  3. Description of recipient organization, including:
    1. Year founded.
    2. Indicate whether organization has in the past or is now operating under any other name other than the name on the IRS determination letter.
    3. Brief history and purpose of organization.
    4. Annual operating budget.
    5. List of Officers and Directors.

Contact Information

  1. Name, title, telephone number and email address of the CEO.
  2. Name, title, telephone number and email address of the project’s contact person if other than the CEO.

Request Information

  1. Project title; project budget amount; request amount, total funds needed for the project and timing of the grant; if a multi-year request, please note the requested payment years.
  2. Funding deadline, if any.
  3. Total amount of dollars received to date; major contributors with amounts received for this project including existence of a challenge grant if applicable with the terms and name of contributor. Other potential funders. (300 word limit.)
  4. Source of funds available apart from grants such as proceeds from sale of assets, endowment or other income.
  5. Project description and anticipated outcomes (750 word limit) – purpose of the grant and statement of need. Please cite source(s) of opinions or statistics if included in the narrative.
  6. The most recent Audited Financial Statements; a complete copy of the most recent IRS Form 990, including Schedule A and all supporting schedules.
  7. For grant requests for construction, renovation or purchase of real property, please include:
    1. An architectural rendering or drawing of the facilities to be built or renovated, or photograph of property to be acquired.
    2. A description of the property – type of construction, square footage, special features, etc.
    3. A cost estimate.

All applicants are notified in writing of the action taken by the Board. The Foundation cannot respond favorably to all requests; do not interpret the decision to decline a request as a negative evaluation of a project or organization. It is not feasible for the Foundation staff to discuss with applicants the reason(s) that the Board may have for declining a request, nor is it reasonable to expect the staff to provide a critique of proposals either before or after action is taken by the Board.

The Foundation requests that it receive no commemorative items; all resources should be used for the organization’s philanthropic purposes.