How We Work

The McGowan Fund welcomes applications from organizations that are working to solve educational, healthcare, and social challenges within our geographic regions. Learn more about our programs.

Our Philosophy

We seek innovative methods of delivery that advance our mission and the communities we serve, with an eye toward sustainable change in the trajectory and quality of people’s lives.

Inspired by our namesake, William G. McGowan, the board sets specific quantitative goals for our initiatives, and we extend that concern for strong evidence and identifiable outcomes to our grantees. We believe in organizational mapping to define strategies and benchmarks of success; we know that measurement and tracking strengthens programs and organizations. Accordingly, we require applicants to include a detailed outcomes matrix.

Knowing that the Fund cannot solve problems through only our grant-making, we strive to leverage our grant dollars by awarding challenge grants, participating in funder collaboratives, and helping out in our communities through our own volunteerism.

The Process

The Fund is governed by an engaged board of directors whose members live in our grant-making regions. Board members play an active role, evaluating applications, making local site visits, and providing stewardship during the grant period.

Grants are considered in a two-step process for new applicants—the Letter of Inquiry and the application itself—and grants are made by the board three times a year. Check our deadlines here.