Building Capacity and Wagging Tails

Recently the Foundation had the opportunity to provide essential capital to help two nonprofits that provide veterinary care for local pets build their capacity through a merger. A grant of $126,000, the largest ever made from the Community Grants program in the Foundation’s nearly 40-year history, brought together the best services of two well-loved groups, Emancipet and Animal Trustees of Austin. Together, they can do more good for local pets.

“We’re proud to support the merger of these two organizations. Our investment clearly helps them leverage their strengths while building efficiency and enhancing their mission,” says Mike Nellis, CEO of Austin Community Foundation. “The Foundation is committed to providing working capital to nonprofit organizations at every stage of their development through grants and impact investments.”

Austin Community Foundation believes in building the capacity of Central Texas nonprofits to better enable the delivery of their mission-focused work. Such projects may include staff and board development, technology upgrades, consultants and other one-time major efforts that increase efficiency and effectiveness of the nonprofit.

The merged organization, Emancipet, is now greater than the sum of its parts, serving more Austin-area people and pets with safe, affordable and compassionate veterinary services. The merged organization has a budget of about $11 million and expects to serve more than 100,000 pets this year. Animal Trustees and Emancipet collaborated for many years on programs and initiatives to improve the lives of Austin pets, and the boards of ATA and Emancipet began exploring a merger last fall.

While this award represents the largest single grant made through the Foundation's Community Grants program, the average grant size is $20,000. The Community Grants Program is how the Foundation leverages the interests and resources of its funds and fund holders in response to local nonprofit grant requests. 

Last year the Foundation awarded $2.2 million in Community Grants to about 90 organizations. In addition, the Foundation awarded more than $18 million in grants through donor advised funds for a total of $20 million in grants worldwide.

Nonprofits serving Central Texas may apply for grant funds from the Community Grant program by submitting an online application. Learn more.

Related Resources

Simplify your giving and multiply your impact

If you love Austin and want to make the biggest impact possible in the most efficient way, we're the ideal partner for your charitable work.

How we make a local impact

We help you do good locally through grantmaking, impact investing, community leadership, leveraging resources and collaborative problem-solving.