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Program Overview

Independent Financial has a steadfast commitment to building strong, healthy communities and one way we honor that commitment is philanthropic giving through our Small Grants Program. Local, nonprofit organizations who serve the needs of low- and moderate-income individuals, families and small businesses can apply online for funding in either the spring or fall each year.

We recognize that COVID-19 has taken a significant toll on our community’s residents and nonprofits throughout our footprint in both Colorado and Texas. Recent winter storms in Texas have created another substantial critical need. As a response to our communities in crisis, we are focusing our 2021 Small Grants funding to nonprofits experiencing program challenges due to unforeseen emergencies or urgent needs created by these events.

To achieve the greatest impact, we direct funding priorities to three specific areas: 

  1. Community Development – workforce development, affordable housing, small business development and community revitalization;
  2. Education – early childhood development, technical and career training, after-school programs, financial literacy for children and/or adults, summer camps and college-preparedness; and
  3. Health & Wellness – community health services, preventative healthcare services, basic needs and behavioral therapy for children.

To be considered for a grant from Independent Financial, organizations must provide proof that they offer services primarily to low- and moderate-income communities. Low- and moderate-income is defined as 80% or less of area median income.

Grant Eligibility

To receive funding for any type of grant, organizations must:

  • Serve low- and moderate-income individuals, families, or small businesses.
  • Have a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt designation or fiscally sponsored by a nonprofit organization
  • Have programs that fall under Independent Financial’s philanthropic funding priorities: Community Development, Education, and Health & Wellness
  • Be located in one or more of the counties we serve in our Market Areas.

Grant proposals are evaluated based on the following considerations:

  • Scale best practices
  • Ability to measure and report on established outcomes-based success metrics aligned to strategic objectives
  • Deliver innovative and scalable solutions
  • Are completed in partnership, cooperation, and consultation with other agencies

Independent Financial will not consider grants for:

  • Organizations that do not primarily address the needs of low- and moderate-income communities
  • Individual or team sponsorships
  • Event conferences or research projects
  • Organizations that discriminate against any classification protected by federal, state, or local law
  • Religious organizations that are not engaged in a specific project that is nonsectarian and benefits a broad base of the community
  • Political action committees, candidates, or causes
  • Capital costs (brick and mortar, the purchase of capital equipment, or other capital projects)

Application Process

Eligible nonprofits aligned with our program funding priorities may apply according to their geographic location during the spring or fall application cycle. Applications will only be accepted once a year per organization, per cycle as listed below.

  • 2021 Spring Cycle Timeline - CLOSED
    • Applications were accepted and will be awarded to organizations in the following regions/counties:
      • Austin – Travis & Williamson counties
      • Colorado Springs – El Paso county
      • Fort Worth – Hood, Johnson, Tarrant counties
      • Sherman – Grayson & Cooke counties
      • Waco – McLennan county
  • 2021 Fall Cycle Timeline
    • Application period: September 1 – 30  at 11:59pm CST/10:59 pm MST
    • Decision: Applicants will be notified within 30 days of application period closure.
    • Applications will be accepted from organizations in the following regions/counties:
      • Dallas – Collin, Dallas, Denton, Rockwall counties
      • Houston – Harris, Montgomery, Fort Bend, Brazoria counties
      • Boulder – Boulder county
      • Denver – Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson counties
      • Fort Collins – Larimer county
      • Greeley – Weld county

To receive notification prior to the Fall Cycle opening, please subscribe to our communication here.

How to Apply

If you are located in and/or serve populations in our regions/counties listed under the 2021 Fall Cycle Timeline above, click here to apply during the Fall Cycle application period.

Frequently Asked Questions

Go to Small Grants FAQs to view a list of frequently asked questions.

Contact Us

Please direct questions to the Community Investment contact in your region:
Aarika Plunkett – Community Development Officer for Houston & Austin
Brianna Adams – Community Development Officer for Colorado
Cindy Maxwell-Bathea – Community Development Officer for DFW (including McKinney & Sherman)
Kelli Diserens – Community Investment Director - Waco