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Our Mission

The mission of the Seawell Elam Foundation is to improve the quality of life for those living in Austin and surrounding communities, through the funding of 501 (c)(3) organizations that work to break the cycle of poverty through programs that focus on education, nature, and the performing and visual arts. 


We believe that, by providing innovative, educational programs to children and their families, the cycle of poverty can be replaced with self sufficiency and healthy relationships.


While supporting three different sectors of the nonprofit community, not only have we seen an impact within those areas, we have witnessed wonderful success when they collaborate. Seawell Elam Foundation is always interested in collaborative efforts, whether it is between similar organizations, or nonprofits from different fields.


Grant-Making Policies and Criteria

Our board of directors places priority on projects or programs that we believe will have a catalytic effect. Seawell Elam Foundation also accepts proposals for matching grants or challenge grants and will consider funding endowments for nonprofits. Proposals requesting support for staff positions, i.e. Development Director or Volunteer Coordinator, must demonstrate how that position will ultimately be self sufficient.


With annual charitable distributions near $140,000.00, we fund an average of 12-15 requests per cycle with our maximum grant set at $15,000.00, and total grants averaging $10,000.00. 


Except for unique circumstances, organizations that receive a grant from the Seawell Elam Foundation will not be eligible to reapply the following year. For example, if your organization receives a grant in 2023, the next time you would be eligible to apply would be 2025. We have made this decision based on the overwhelming numbers of proposals we receive each year. Our family feels that this is a fair compromise in order to fund the different areas about which we are passionate.


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