Foundation Grant Programs

Click here for the 2019 grant cycle information.

The Amarillo Area Foundation (AAF) is a Community Foundation that serves the northernmost 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle.  The mission of the Foundation is to improve the quality of life in the Texas Panhandle.  Since its inception in 1957, the Foundation has provided grants and a variety of other services to strengthen nonprofit organizations and the services they deliver.  In 1988, the Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation was restructured to be a public supporting organization of the Amarillo Area Foundation.


AAF supports a wide range of charitable organizations throughout the top twenty-six counties of the Panhandle.  One way that AAF supports charitable organizations is through discretionary grantmaking.  Grant applications are submitted to the AAF and considered by AAF and its supporting organization, The Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation, via a single application.  The Harrington Foundation does not receive grant requests directly from nonprofit organizations.


The Amarillo Area Foundation will accept proposals for the Discretionary Grant (DG) Program and the Catalyst Grant (CG) Program.  The DG program accepts grant requests of over $20,000 and the CG Program accepts grant requests between $2,500 to $20,000.  An organization must choose to submit either a CG application or a DG application.  The Additional Requirements discussed below apply to both grant programs simultaneously (e.g. an open CG would prevent an organization from applying for a DG and vice versa, etc.).


Discretionary Grant applications will be reviewed by AAF staff and presented to the Board of Directors for consideration.  A committee comprised of community members aged 45 and younger from across the Texas Panhandle will review applications for the Catalyst Grant Program and then make funding recommendations to the AAF Board.


Applications are available at and must be submitted through the online portal.  Upon submission, applications and accompanying materials become the property of the Foundation and are used as deemed appropriate.  These materials may be reviewed with others as part of the assessment process.  Information may also be shared with other foundations and funding sources that call for information about community projects.


1. Hold a current tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code.  This includes a traditional nonprofit agency that has current 501(c)(3) status; a recognized government entity: state, county, or city agency that is requesting funds exclusively for public charitable purposes; a K-12 public school, community/junior college, state college or university; or a church or other faith-based organization with a proposed project that benefits the community at large. Individuals are not eligible applicants. (CLICK HERE for graphic to help determine eligibility.)
2. Use grant funds within and for the benefit of the residents and communities of the 26 northernmost counties of the Texas Panhandle.  

3. Adhere to the following financial requirements:


Annual Operating Budget

Corresponding IRS Requirement

Financial Information Required


990-N (Postcard)

Internal financial statements*


990-EZ or 990

IRS 990 Form





*Statement of Activities (i.e. Income/Expense Statement) and Statement of Financial Position (i.e. Balance Sheet)

**Annual Financial Audit completed by independent Certified Public Accountant (CPA) using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)



As a community foundation, the Amarillo Area Foundation does not limit its discretionary grantmaking to a particular field or area of interest. Rather, AAF seeks to support the entire range of human needs in the Panhandle. Resources are limited; therefore, the Board of Directors must make funding decisions based on relative need and potential impact.  


The Amarillo Area Foundation (AAF) and Harrington Foundation (HF) Board of Directors have the responsibility for final approval of each grant. The Foundations receive funding requests in excess of funds available for grants.  A decision not to fund a proposal does not necessarily reflect the merits of the applicant or the value of the proposal. The AAF’s four focus areas are education, health, human services, and poverty.  The HF’s interests include hospitals and healthcare agencies, cultural programs, higher education, youth agencies, social services, and civic affairs.


Proposal types NOT considered (i.e. exclusions):

The Amarillo Area Foundation Board will NOT consider a proposal for a project that serves communities or residents that are located outside the top twenty-six counties of the Texas Panhandle.

The Board does not grant funds to the following types of projects:

 •    Religious activities or programs that serve or appear to serve specific religious groups or denominations.
 •    Parochial or private schools primarily funded through student tuition.
 •    Direct political lobbying or legislative activities (except if lobbying aligns with core purpose of the Foundation). 

 •    Debt retirement or deficit financing.

 •    Projects already completed.

Low priority requests:

The Board is less likely to grant funds to organizations located outside the Panhandle (even though the project may benefit Panhandle residents and communities).

In general, the Board is less likely to grant funds for the following types of requests:

 •    Conferences, workshops, seminars, symposia, etc. 

 •    Publications, videos, etc. 

 •    Endowment establishment or enhancement

 •    Requests for multi-year funding

 •    Fundraising support 

 •    Start-up funding for new organizations

 •    Historic preservation

 •    Travel, tours, trips, etc.

 •    Monuments, statues, or memorial markers

 •    Animal services

 •    Projects that can be funded through tax support

 •    Staffing and/or operations support


Additional Requirements

Each year the Foundation receives more worthy requests than it can support; therefore, the Board will not consider:

• A proposal from an organization within twelve months of the last proposal.

If funded, a proposal from an organization within twelve months of the date of the last grant payment.

• A proposal that has been previously declined by the Board (unless there has been a significant change).
• A proposal from an organization that has not fulfilled reporting requirements of a previous grant.

• A proposal for additional funding for a project that has been previously funded by the Foundation.

• A proposal for the same program within a three-year period.

AAF staff is available to discuss potential requests and answer questions about the grantmaking process.  You are strongly encouraged to contact Foundation staff in advance of developing a proposal by e-mailing or by calling 806.376.4521 to speak to someone from the Grants Department.