Grant Information

For Applicants


  • The Foundation only accepts grant applications from pre-selected charitable organizations which have been submitted through our online grant portal. Unsolicited requests sent by email or post will not be reviewed or considered.
  • The Foundation supports education, medical research, Christian stewardship and the founding principles of America. Gifts listed on our 990 which fall outside these areas are likely highly influenced by family involvement with a charitable organization.
  • Grant requests will be considered only from 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 a governmental unit described in Section 170 of the Code.
  • Requests for business investment, loans, funding for individuals or non-charitable endeavors will not receive a response.
  • The Foundation focuses its most significant giving in Houston. Giving outside of Houston is strongly influenced by family involvement.
  • The Foundation prefers to fund financially stable organizations or new organizations with a strong financial model. A decision to approve or decline your application may be based upon project budgets, prior expenses, actual and projected revenues, deficits, fundraising costs and outcomes, executive compensation, debt, and cash on hand.


The Foundation does not fund the following:

  • Endowment gifts;
  • Purchase of tickets or tables at fundraising, golf tournament participation, advertising or event sponsorships;
  • Organizations that in turn make grants to others;
  • Purchase of uniforms, equipment, or trips for school-related organizations or amateur sport teams;
  • Applications from organizations more frequently than once every 12 months, whether the previous application was approved or declined (The twelve-month period starts on the date of the last grant payment if approved or the date the last grant was declined.);
  • Multiyear requests which are submitted less than twenty-four months of the last payment of a prior multiyear grant (unless directed by the executive director);
  • Requests which total more than 10% of campaign or project (unless directed by the executive director);
  • Grants to organizations outside of Greater Houston unless requested by a McNair family member;
  • Grants to organizations who are based outside of the U.S. or whose programs are focused outside the U.S.;
  • Applications from organizations whose sole purpose is the promotion or support of a specific religion, denomination or church. Additionally, the Foundation will not support church operations;
  • Applications to support projects focused on public policy or advocacy; and
  • Requests for a loan or to pay off or reduce debt.

Recommendations and Requirements

  • A letter of support for the application and submitted online by the CEO or board chair is highly recommended.
  • Grants are to be used by the recipient within a period of one year after the gift anniversary or by a pre-determined time stated in a gift agreement.
  • Multiyear requests will be considered on a case by case basis when directed by the executive director. Multiyear payments will be based upon progress made and may be deferred or prorated upon review of an annual progress report and successful completion of project milestones, determined solely by the Foundation.
  • The Foundation’s grants will be used to support operations or programming rather than buildings and capital projects. On a limited basis when a McNair family member is involved, the trustees may consider building and capital projects.
  • Foundation grants shall be for current use only, as opposed to endowment.
  • Grant applications are accepted throughout the year. The Trustees meet twice a year, once in the Spring and once in the Fall; meetings are not held on fixed dates. Grant applications are reviewed and discussed at each meeting; however, some grant requests may not be considered at a formal meeting or deferred until a future meeting dependent on the agenda. The process, therefore, may take several months. If your organization’s funding is needed by a specific date, your application should be submitted four to six months in advance.
  • Grantees must obtain the McNair Foundation’s prior written approval before issuing a press release, developing any marketing materials, or making any other public announcement regarding the Gift or Recipient’s relationship with the McNair Foundation, or using the McNair Foundation’s names, marks, brands, or logos in any way.
  • Grantees will be restricted in using the Foundation’s logo in accordance with the Foundation’s Brand Guide.


  • The Foundation may consider funding indirect costs for medical research.
  • An annual gift does not guarantee continued funding. Previous grantees must be invited to resubmit a renewal request.
  • All applications will be considered a single-year, or a one-time gift, and grantees are not guaranteed renewal funding. Renewal applications may be considered but only when an annual progress report has been submitted within 30 days of the prior gift’s anniversary.
  • With written approval of the McNair Foundation, grant recipient may carry over unspent funds as a balance forward into the following year. The McNair Foundation, at its sole discretion, may reduce the next annual payment on multiyear grants by the amount of such balance forward or funds carried over. Additionally, the McNair Foundation may withhold payments or make partial payments if projected or annual expenses in a given year are less than the annual payment committed.
  • The trustees look favorably on start up or “seed” funding when a plan for continued funding is in place.
  • The Foundation does not provide donation or auction items for the Houston Texans. If you wish to apply for funding from the Houston Texans Foundation or are looking for donated items from the Houston Texans for your auction or special event, please visit their website: