Grantmaking Priorities


As a community foundation, the Amarillo Area Foundation does not limit its discretionary grantmaking to a particular field or area of interest. Rather, it seeks to support the entire range of human needs in the Panhandle. Because resources are limited, the Directors are forced to make judgments based on relative need and potential impact. Currently, the Foundation is focused on four areas of particular priority:

  • Education
  • Health
  • Human Services
  • Youth and Families

High Priority:

Preference is given to organizations and projects that:

  • Test or demonstrate new and innovative approaches and techniques or replicate or expand approaches proven to be effective in meeting current and emerging needs or in closing gaps in existing services.
  • Enable charitable agencies to reduce costs, increase efficiency, become more self-sufficient, and strengthen internal management capabilities.
  • Address a cluster of social needs rather than a single issue; address underlying causes of problems; provide for early intervention in a cost-effective manner; or, focus on developing human potential to increase self-sufficiency.
  • Demonstrate strong volunteer involvement and broad community support.
  • Strengthen the capacity of existing institutions to reach a broader segment of the community.
  • Are developed in consultation with other agencies and planning groups and those that promote coordination, cooperation, and sharing among organizations and elimiate duplication of services.
  • Encourge others to participate in funding projects through challenge grants or matching grants in an attempt to stimulate response from other sources, thereby expanding philanthropy.

Low Priority:

In general, the Boards are less likely to grant funds for the following types of requests and organizations:

  • Start-up funding for new organizations.
  • Annual operating expenses of established agencies.
  • Travel, tours, trips.
  • Research projects.
  • Publications, videos, etc.
  • Conferences, workshops, seminars, symposia, etc.
  • Local tax-support replacement.
  • Government agencies, tax-supported institutions.
  • Historic preservation.
  • Organizations located outside the Panhandle (even though the project may benefit Panhandle residents and communities).


In general, the Boards do not grant funds to the following types of organizations or projects:
Start-up funding for new organizations.

  • Religious activities or programs that serve or appear to serve specific religious groups or denominations. However, if a proposal submitted by a faith-based or similar organization is intended to serve as broad a segment of the population as the program of a comparable non-religious organization, the Foundation will consider the proposal on the same basis as proposals from other agencies.
  • Political lobbying or legislative activities.
  • Endowment establishment or enhancement.
  • Debt retirement, deficit financing, reducing operating deficits, or liquidating or replenishing resources used to pay for such purposes.
  • Private or parochial schools.
  • National, state, or local fundraising activities, e.g., annual fund drives, courtesy advertising, benefit tickets, telephone solicitations. General solicitation letters are not acknowledged.
  • Umbrella funding organizations that would distribute requested funds at their own discretion.
  • Monuments, statues, or memorial markers.

Additionally, each year the foundation receives more worthy requests than it can support; therefore, the Directors normally will not consider:

  • More than one proposal from the same organization or institution within a 12-month period.
  • A proposal that has been declined within the last 12 months unless there has been a significant change.
  • A proposal from an organization that has not fulfilled reporting requirements of a previous grant.
  • Requests for multi-year funding.